Tag Archives: goals


What I Want You to STOP Doing in 2016

Last week in our newsletter I shared with you my wish list for the new year. Not only are things I wish for you, there are also things I want you to STOP doing – things that are keeping you from being your very best self!

What I want you to stop doing…

I want you to stop tolerating mediocrity, first in yourself and then in others.
I want you to stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. I want you to stop the tendency to blame.
I want you to stop managing people and start coaching/leading them. Manage tasks, lead people. Figure out the difference.
I want you to stop striving. Stop performing.  Stop trying to prove yourself that you have what it takes. You do!
I want you to stop demanding too much of yourself. When you do that, you subconsciously demand more of others, even if you say you do not.
I want you to stop being controlled by popular opinion and do the right thing even if it costs you. I want you to stop your approval addiction. Being a peacemaker is an amazing leadership quality that quickly slips into the dysfunction of people-pleasing. Know the difference.
I want you to stop using work and “I’m too busy” as an excuse. You are accountable for yourself and you make choices all day long. You always have time to do what you want, so want something different. Fact: If you are too busy there is something wrong.
I want you to stop playing games and be genuine. Be You.
I want you to stop being a coward and tolerating lying. Instead, speak truth with love and compassion.
I want you to stop hiring people just like you. Hire people different and preferably smarter than you. Stop tolerating low performers and people who don’t “get it.”
I want you to stop getting your identity from your work. Go home and be the personyou want your kids to remember. Stop saying “when I have the time, I will.”
Do it now. Live it now. If not, when?

I encourage you to take the self-evaluation I created on our website. It will give you an idea of where to focus in 2016 and where you might need additional support, training — or even a coach.

If you email the evaluation back to us, we will ask you how you are doing in 90 days. Take it a few times. Each time, think about each of the roles you play and your spheres of influence, starting with yourself. Use the hyperlinks for additional tools to help you be the leader you want to be in your organization, your family and your life.

Here is to a profitable 2016, now go be the best you can be today!




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My Wish List for Your 2016

2015 is drawing to a close and I just finished my last newsletter of the year. I thought I would share a preview of what will be released tomorrow. Please subscribe and get access to the entire list today!

I’ve been reflecting on what I want for all of you in the next year of your lives and leadership.

I drafted the top five things I learned in 2015. I dashed off a bunch of brainy concepts on trends I see for 2016. None of it felt right, because it wasn’t from my heart.

What was on my heart — what is on my heart — is what I want for you as a leader. Here’s my wish list for you. I hope it becomes yours as well.

What I Want for You as a Leader

I want you to be courageous. I want you to tell the truth and be real.
I want you to be humble and to be confident. Call it humble-confidence.
I want you to be clear about your priorities and honor them.
I want you to communicate, and once you feel you have, then do it again six more times. I want you to connect with others in a new and meaningful way. I want you to listen, truly listen to others and hear what they are saying and what they are not saying.
I want you to delegate 50% more. You need help to do so, thus I want you to ask for help.
I want you to see people, not as objects or obstacles but as human beings. I want you to see their strengths and identify their weaknesses. I want you to focus on their strengths and encourage them to use them daily. Try coaching a weakness into a strength by positive transformation (i.e. a poor communicator can be an excellent communicator with self-awareness and instruction.)
I want you to celebrate wins and to catch people doing what’s right.
I want you to engage in healthy conflict — daily. Disengage from dysfunctional conflict. Know the difference.
I want you to seek alignment. That’s a big statement.
I want you to have clarity and to truly focus on what matters only, everyday. I want you to live with purpose and lead others in a manner so they can live their purpose.
I want you to be heard. I want you to be seen. I want you to be understood. I want you to first do the same for others, be the first to serve.
I want you to take care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I want you to know your weak area and get a coach or mentor to help you with it.
I want you to call out greatness in others and I want you to be great.
Simply, “to be” is the key. I want you to be the best you can be in 2016.

Next week I will share what I want you to STOP doing in 2016! Don’t miss it! Check out our website for a self-evaluation that goes along with the newsletter article.

Your Coach,



Goal Setting And Group Performance

December is here and I have my red Christmas Starbucks cup in my hand.  It makes me think of holiday shopping and I would love for you to consider the clarity you have received this year and who you might be able to help on their path for 2016.

So I ask you:  Who on your gift list could benefit from the practical tools at Shandel Group?  For example, for your staff, family, kids – What about a stocking stuffer to help them become a stronger, more intentional leader (whether at home, at school, or in the office)? Clarity:Focusing on What Matters makes a great gift.

You might also consider the gift of self-discovery with the Behaviors/Motivators assessments and the debriefing tools. By New Year’s Eve they will have an action plan for personal growth to be the best they can be in 2016.

Speaking of goal-setting, here is a great piece written by a friend of mine in Reno, NV, Dr. Bret Simmons, on his Positive Organizational Behavior blog (http://www.bretlsimmons.com/)  It describes the effect of goal setting on group performance. I think you’ll find some interesting results! Read on…

Goal Setting and Group Performance

Some fascinating new research on the effect of goal setting on group performance was recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (full citation below). The authors conducted a meta-analysis of 131 previously published studies on goal setting.

The results show that the worst thing you can do for group performance is to set nonspecific goals. Even easy, specific goals are better for group performance than nonspecific goals. Setting specific difficult goals has the best effect on group performance. Specific goals supported by specific metrics send employees unambiguous and consistent signals about expected performance behaviors.

The most interesting finding to me was that “egocentric goals (aimed at maximizing individual performance) undermine group performance, whereas groupcentric goals (aimed at maximizing the individual contribution to the group) enhance group performance” (p. 7). Goals that force team members to compete with each other undermine group performance.  “When group performance matters, egocentric goals would best be framed as to emphasize the individual contribution to the group” (p. 8).

Select people that value collaboration over competition.  Train them in the knowledge and skills they need to work better with others. Challenge your teams to set high standards for their shared performance, and reward the members that do the most to help the team succeed. Think very carefully about the message you send by rewarding individual performance when the team fails.

Full citation: Kleingeld, A., van Mierlo, H., and Arends, L. (2011). The Effect of Goal Setting on Group Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Your Coach,




Dr. Bret Simmons’ article previously appeared here.


The Top 10 Things To Help Your Business & Personal Life Become Healthier & More Successful

There are always things we can do to make our life better or easier or closer to our “dream” life. These changes or “choices” can affect our business and professional life in profound ways. In many ways, they can make us and our business simply but powerfully more “attractive.” This list is a sample of some ways and areas that will help us to get closer to our “ideal” life, and to become more “irresistibly attractive” personally and in our profession!

1. Assess Your Health & “Get Healthy”- Inside And Out.

Simple enough? Look in the mirror. Look at the bathroom scales. How is your energy level? Your diet? Your blood pressure? Your stress level? Know what your current health “status” is by *SEEING YOUR DOCTOR,* and start correcting things that limit your quality of life. Get healthy by CHOICE before you are asked/forced to due to a *preventable* or treatable problem.

2. *Honestly* Examine Your Current Financial Situation.

What are you “worth?” How much debt do you have? Do you have a budget? Savings reserve? Plan for retirement? Is your business *really* making money, or has it turned into just an expensive “hobby?” Get out all the “books,” checkbooks, etc. Use a professional planner or consultant if necessary. Correct overspending and *reduce consumer debt*. Cut down on unnecessary overhead/expenses! Increase profits, or make plans to do so. Have a 6-12 month “reserve” of money and *good* “disability” and medical insurance for yourself and any family members living with you. Don’t “assume” anything!

3. Get Rid Of Any “Garbage” Or “Unfinished Business” From Your Past!

Yes, is difficult to forgive and “let go” of old hurts, pain, and other unpleasant memories. AND, it is essential to do that if you don’t want those “old tapes” to drain your emotional & physical energy in the “present”. People tend to let some of that old “baggage” influence their present lies, & it is going to be always in a negative or unhealthy way. Write down who or what you are still “hanging onto,” and decide what it would take to “let it go” for *good*! Seek out a coach or other professional to help if you cannot do this on your own. It is *vital* to resolve the past for us to be able to grow and really live in the present, and move ahead and embrace the future.

4. Make A Monthly And Annual Goals Plan Or List.

Decide what you are lacking that you need or want. Write it down as an achievement or goal to reach by the next month or 3 months or year! Make the goals reasonable yet challenging. Let your reach exceed your grasp, and work toward it daily in steps you can handle. If you need help, hire a coach, or ask your coach to help you specifically in that area.

5. Upgrade Your Personal Standards And Your “Boundaries” If Necessary.

Know what your values and standards are. Make them as high as you can given your goals, your needs, and your personal and business situation. Make sure you have set “boundaries” or “rules” for people in your life around what you will and will not accept from them. This can be done in a calm and non-threatening, yet firm manner. If you are stuck or having problems with this, ask a close friend for help, or if the lack of boundaries and high standards is affecting your life badly, consider hiring a coach!

6. Stop Tolerating!

All of the small to large annoyances, insults, things we do to ourselves, and things people “do to us,” are not helping us have a quality life. Make a “laundry list” of all that you are “putting up with” currently. ANY toleration is going to affect you and have at least a small adverse affect on your life unless you either eliminate it or “reframe” how you perceive it or respond to it. To have a quality life and to be healthy, we need all the energy we can get. We do enough things to ourselves that “drain” us…we don’t need other people or things draining us as well!

7. Be 100% Honest When Speaking With Others.

Holding back how you *really* feel when communicating does more damage to ourselves, as well as to the relationships we have with others, as almost anything else. It takes courage and “practice” (by just DOING IT!) to learn how to do this and to do it in a non-aggressive and non-judgmental way. It is a skill or “trait” however, that is essential to having a truly healthy and “integrity-based” business and personal life. Being totally honest respects yourself and others.

8. Listen 2-3 Times More To Others Than You Currently Do.

Listening is an art. Almost everyone likes to talk, and to be “heard.” In business and personal relationships, learning how to listen well is very important to understanding other’s problems and what they really need from you or want to tell you. In coaching, if a coach can say that he/she listens to their client 75-80% of the time, and talks the rest of the time, they are probably hearing and helping their client much more than a coach who talks 50-75% of the time and listens only 25-50%. It is not easy for many people to develop this skill, and it is important. The way to learn it is to be quiet more…and listen more. No other way.

9. Assess-Re-evaluate Your Career And Career Goals.

Are you doing what you *really* want to do for a living? Do you get satisfaction and enough financial remuneration from your job to satisfy your needs so that you feel you are respected, impacting people, and doing what you were “meant” to do? Are you excited and “drawn” to your profession? Were you ever? If you come up with unsettling answers to these questions, it is time to make some plans for moving “up,” moving out, or changing your job description, hours, etc. A coach or career counselor can help you with this if you cannot work it out on your own. Most people need to feel good about their jobs to feel good about themselves and others. If you do not, find out why, and start looking into other options, actions, and choices.

10. Decide To Think & Talk In The “Present” At Least 80% Of The Time.

The past is gone, and we have NO control over the future. Living in the “now” or present, and thinking in the present, is both healthy and more productive. If we can use self discipline and practice, so that we do not talk or think about the past or the future more than 20% of the time, we will be much happier in many areas of our lives. The past can have many good memories, but often when people think or talk about the past it is not about positive things, rather the “bad” or negative “stuff.” The future is a dream still. It is a waste of energy and time to stay in the past or in the future much more than 20% of our total waking hours mentally or when talking. If we live minute to minute, hour to hour, there will be much less chance of dwelling into the past or dreaming too much-far into the future. We do a lot of that anyhow when we dream in our sleep!

If you know someone who could benefit from finding out how coaching can assist in this process, please check out some of our coaching options here. We can also customize a coaching package that is just right for their needs!

Your Coach,



On Track or Derailed? Five Reasons Goals Fail

We are 3 weeks into the new year, and it seemed like a good time to talk about why our goals sometimes fail. This article was posted a few years ago on our blog, and I hope it inspires you to really give your intentions for the year some thought. If our coaches can help you define your WHY, WHAT, HOW AND WHEN, please let us know!



My grandpa was a railroad engineer, so I grew up loving trains. From real ones to the models around the Christmas tree, I love to watch them roar along their clack-ity track. To this day, I love to walk along an endless railroad track balancing on the rail to see how far I can get before slipping off and then trying it again.

meandgpaBecause of this fondness, the thought of a train derailing is troubling. The image of that massive strength and power of those fierce engines lying helpless in a field or worse, in heap of metal, disturbs me.

Derailments are far and few between but when they happen, it’s a big deal. While they are unintentional, you can count on authorities investigating to get to the source. Why? So the tragedy won’t happen again.

 Are You Derailed or On Track?

We are 20 days into 2015. How many of you already feel derailed in your New Year goals? If you are feeling derailed or simply not satisfied with your journey so far, let’s take a look at why you are off-track — and get you back on it.

Why Goals Fail

 1. The WHY Is Not Identified.

WHY do you want this goal? You have to start with something bigger than your goal. You must get to your purpose — “the why” you exist. Your values should dictate your goals, not the other way around. I love True Life Coaching’s course, Life 301, because we dig deep to identify the barriers to living your values and only set goals after your values are identified. In business, core values and purpose statement are essential for your culture and the why people work for you.

2. The WHAT Is Not Defined.

Once your WHY is identified, then you need a plan to live it out. This is your defined vision and mission. WHAT is it you want to accomplish in order to live your WHY? WHAT is needed? WHAT is wanted? WHAT will you do? In business, this is your strategic plan, from the five-year plan to the one-year goals to the quarterly theme to every single person on the team knowing their WHAT.

gpa_green3. The HOW Is Not Clear.

Now that you know WHAT you are going to do to fulfill the WHY, it is time to get very clear on HOW you will accomplish it. Clarity and ownership is essential at this juncture. The fastest way to clarity is to get a trusted team around you to turn over every possibility, challenge the status quo, and identify every blind spot. It’s called productive conflict and will take you and/or your team to the next level.

4. The WHEN Is Not Serious.

Action steps to accomplish your goals must have a “by when” assigned to it. When the HOW is not broken down into action steps with dates attached to the steps, it is in grave danger of derailment. Solution: Calendar Management! Put the due dates in with appropriate reminders included, schedule blocks of non-negotiable time to work on the next step, and secure white space so you can think clearly. (Confession: This my personal downfall!)

5. The WHO is not aligned.

Last but far, far from least you must get the right people in your life to help you achieve your goals. This may mean dismissing Negative Nellie or Downer Don from your circle of influence. It may require re-evaluating your culture, allowing those who do not align with your direction to exit gracefully and then attracting people who appreciate and support your WHY gratefully. Alignment of the right people doing the right thing in the right time for the right reason is sheer bliss and is quite actually simple – it’s just not easy!

 The First Step — Today

So what is one thing you could do today to get yourself back on track. For me, it is calendar management. I need to block some time out, and so I am going to go do that right now. How about you? You are all smart leaders on this list. Listen to your gut and take two minutes — set the timer on your phone to commit and calendar your one thing! Right now!

Here’s to 2015 being the best year yet!

Your Coach,


kids (500x500)

How to be a Lifelong Learner Part 2

When was the last time you learned a new skill, or attended a career-related conference? How often do you volunteer at work to take on a new challenge? When faced with new advances in your industry, do you jump into researching them and become have a reputation as a resource?

We’ve been talking about how important it is to be a continuous learner. That’s why we’re looking at into specific steps you can take right now to become one. Here are some ideas.

Start with Goals

* Make a list of your personal or professional learning goals, such as becoming certified by next summer or learning to speak another language.

* Set reasonable expectations for your own progress. Relate your goals to specific activities you can accomplish on a regular basis.

Read, Think, Think More

* Read. Read. Read. And read carefully. Read major publications in your field. Read the latest relevant books. Read about topics outside of your area of expertise.

* Work hard to identify at least one critical insight in everything you read and determine how you can apply that knowledge to your daily work.

* Find opportunities to think in a different way from the usual. Take a yoga or literature class or travel to a foreign location.

Network, Get Feedback

* Set aside time to act on and reflect upon your learning goals.

* Network with others, both in your field of expertise and outside of it, by attending special events, seminars, workshops and conferences.

* Ask someone new for input into a project or allow someone else the authority to take action on an important task. See what you can learn from other people.

* Seek honest feedback from trusted mentors or peers and don’t be defensive when you hear what they have to say.

Look at Both Successes, Mistakes

* Learn from your successes. Think about how you might apply the same skills in a different setting.

* Learn from your mistakes. Be willing to identify what events within your control could be changed if the same situation happened again.

* Periodically update your list of goals and, at the same time, create new plans to help you reach your goals for self-improvement.

What do you think of these suggestions? Which one are you going to try first — and by when?

Your Coach,


may 6

Your Interpersonal Best

What would you do to improve your interpersonal skills? Last time we looked at what interpersonal skills are, and why having strong ones leads to success.

Now it’s time to get down to work!

Here are four activities you can do to improve your relationships and boost your professional and personal sociability. Trust me, it’s worth the effort!

Activity 1: Improving Existing Relationships

Create a chart with four columns with these headings: Person’s Name, Quality of Relationship (1-5 scale), Goals for Improving Relationship, and Due Date.

Now list the people with whom you work regularly. Fill in the chart, evaluating your relationship with each person (on a scale of 1-5 in which 1 is the best and 5 is the worst) and setting goals toward improving your relationships with these individuals. Make sure you list something positive you can do for everyone, including people you already get along very well with.

Be sure to set dates for all your goals, and then hold yourself accountable!

Activity 2: Ask for Honest Feedback

Ask several people you trust for their feedback on your leadership style. Choose people at a variety of levels of your organization such as, management, peers or employees.

Make an appointment with each person to talk formally. Use the following questions as a guide to your discussion. Remember to be open and not defensive.

  • How would you describe my leadership style?
  • What do I do well in my role as a leader?
  • What do others do better? How could I improve my skills?
  • Am I people oriented?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I handled particularly well?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I could have handled better? What did you think I should have done?
  • Do I seem assertive but not overbearing, or am I too forceful in stating my desires and plans?

Activity 3: Review of Your Skills

Ask someone you trust to observe you as you present a new idea or project to others. Have the person take notes and give you feedback on how you handled the following:

  • Presenting yourself
  • Presenting your ideas
  • Sounding enthusiastic and positive about your plans
  • Persuading others that your idea would benefit them or those they serve
  • Politely fielding questions and managing disagreement
  • Being assertive but not aggressive
  • Other areas observed during your attempt to persuade someone of the merits of your idea or plan

Activity 4: Observing Others

Make a point of observing people in your organization who are particularly good at gaining support and agreement from others. Answer these questions:

  • What technique does each person use to persuade people?
  • How do they present themselves?
  • How do they present their ideas?
  • How do they handle disagreements and conflict?
  • What do you like best about how they present new ideas or programs?

Remember, communicating effectively, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people are essential skills for any successful person. And, one can never stop getting better at them! So I challenge you today to get going on these activities – you, your organization, your circle of acquaintances and family, all will be happier for it!

Your Coach,



You Can Learn to Win!

It’s a fact of life. Achieving your goals sometimes means other people don’t achieve theirs. The naturally competitive person probably doesn’t give much thought to this, though. He or she is out to WIN.

Tenacious, bold, assertive, confident — with a will to WIN. Is that you?

If so, you probably drive competitively, shop competitively, play games competitively and work competitively.

But maybe you’re more like my friend. Competent, creative, professional, she nevertheless can’t watch the Olympics because she can’t bear to see people lose. All she can think about is these young people’s dreams going down in flames in a fraction of a second. It breaks her heart.

My friend often feels left behind when it comes to ambition and confidence and drive. What about you?

A Skill to Develop

Here’s some good news: you can learn to cultivate competitiveness!

Why bother? One simple answer is that developing competitive skills can give you a better chance for accomplishing achievements that truly matter to you.

Don’t focus on what other people have that you wish you had, or what other people are doing that you’re not. Instead, focus on what YOU want, how YOU will get it and what YOU will do when YOU achieve it! The key to healthy competitiveness is already inside you!

Focus on the Prize

As always, we at True Life Inc. strongly advise that you don’t try to tackle all this by yourself! Build a supportive team around you that can encourage you to be courageous and can hold you accountable. Of course, hiring an executive coach is a brilliant idea too!

Here’s a list of behaviors and attitudes from Bill Brooks that can help you strengthen your competitive spirit. Or, if you’re naturally competitive, these will help you harness that energy!

  • Focus on setting, achieving and re-evaluating goals.
  • Imagine and visualize winning.
  • Be respectful to everyone but don’t be intimidated by anyone.
  • Set yourself up for some easy victories. Not everything has to be difficult!
  • Be persistent and patient. Winning takes hard work and often a lot of time.
  • Ask other people for help if you need it.
  • Help other people achieve their goals.
  • Take time to relax, re-focus your thoughts and get away from the day-to-day.

 No Second Best

Remember, you deserve success as much as anyone else. Be proud of your achievements. Strive for excellence, and don’t settle for second best.

What action can you take today to work on your competitive skills? Share it below!

Your Coach,


Are you on track for 2013? If not, read on!

Its time to check in on your 2013 intentions (formerly known as resolutions?) On track or derailed?

The Mayans said the world was supposed to end in December of 2012 and with all our website issues we thought that might have been directed right at us. However, through our meaningful craziness, we have somehow survived another year, and we are on track for 2013 to be the best year yet!

When I returned from my sabbatical, moved, and got settled back into life – I found our website had a virus. Yep, our website was hacked and basically demolished, hiring help to redesign was more than needed. Then it was time for the holidays, 4th quarter offsites with clients and I hired two new members for the True Life Coaching team.  Then out of the blue came the new year where we are extremely busy assisting all of our wonderful clients in their strategic annual planning and traveling all over the country for workshops and meetings. Now finally, we are a bit late, we are ready to get ourselves and hopefully you back on track!  Continue reading