Posts Tagged ‘business coach’

Top 5 traits family business should want for the next generation

passingkeyResilience and self-reliance

Life brings many challenges.  One of the greatest assets a person can have is the ability to handle adversity.  At the beginning of most family business stories is a story of overcoming adversity.  Too often the other end of the family business story is young people being handed too much too easily.  In the end this can be a great disservice to the next generation.

I know that as a parent we are anxious when we push our kids out into the world to find their way, but at the same time it is one of the most important gifts we can give them.  I am encouraging every family to have an employment policy that requires the next generation to go out and on their own for two years before joining the family business.

Healthy individual identity

Young people need to find out who they are outside the context of the family business.  I grew up in a family business that had great name recognition in our town and it was a good feeling.  But it was an even better feeling when I created my own accomplishments and began to know who I was outside of the family business circle.

When I got asked to lead at my Rotary Club, industry association, and Little League, I began to know my inherent strengths and leadership ability outside of business.  It was a great feeling.

I see a stark difference in the confidence and abilities of next gen’s who apply themselves and create success in areas outside of the family business.

When a healthy individual identity is created outside of the family business that person becomes 10 times more valuable inside the family business!

A fulfilling career

So many of us want to see the family business continue but I would rather see my children in careers that are personally rewarding.  We should encourage our children to explore and understand their strengths and find careers that play to these strengths. I see many 45 and 50-year-olds that find themselves 20 years into the family business career and are left unfulfilled, wondering if they should have pursued their passion.

Make sure, encourage, and demand that the next generation explores their strengths and passions fully before dedicating themselves to a career in the family business.

Emotional and financial security

Many family businesses give next gen’s a great leg up on the financial security piece but I find many times the emotional security and well-being is not great.

Family leaders should help next gen’s find out who they are, find rewarding and meaningful work, create a strong individual identity and then they will have the greatest combination of all: great emotional and financial security.


Isn’t that what it should all be about?  I’m not trying to say life should be easy or simple but at the end of the day the greatest gift in life is to find happiness in all of our day-to-day trials and tribulations.

I see many people who sort of fall into the family business and then at some point look up and realize that they are not happy for a variety of reasons.  Life is short and we should help the youngsters learn how to be thoughtful and courageous about taking responsibility and setting their own course for happiness in their life.

Rocky had Mickey in his corner. Who do you have?



I just realized business leadership today is a little bit like a 15 round heavyweight boxing match.  It’s very difficult out there right now in the business world.

I’m a little bit like the guy in the corner with the stool and the bucket as a support for the prizefighter.  Many times coaching is about teaching leaders a new technique, but sometimes it’s just about providing some real time performance feedback and support.

Like the executive teams that participate in our quarterly leadership workout, we might just provide them a safe place to sit down, catch their breath and get a pat on the back.  I might tell them “keep your hands up… keep leading with your left hook and you’re doing great out there.” (About as much as I know about boxing!)

Leadership right now is what my client Eric Scollard calls “hard rock mining.”

So consider this deliberate practice… have someone in your corner who you can go to on a regular basis, if nothing else, to get to sit down, take a break, cool off and get some positive and objective feedback.

It’s tough out there.  Good luck.

Coaching going Green!

“The human spirit is our greatest source of renewable energy!”

I would like to take credit for this, I really would.  I heard this statement from my client Tamara Woodbury (CEO at Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council).

Think about it.  When you are motivated, focused, and excited about what you’re doing you tend to wake up, spring out of bed, and go excitingly into the day.  We can all picture the opposite of that (is that how you see your team members come in the morning?)

Great Business Coaches find ways to tap into that renewable energy in a way that becomes self-sustaining.

How are you doing at that?

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Monday, June 28th, 2010
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Make a shift – build leadership muscle!

If employees were as motivated, smart, self disciplined, and hard-working as you’d want them to be they would be working for themselves! 

I’m amazed how many times the CEOs and Leaders that I’m working with are so discouraged and disappointed that they have to be the one setting the tone and setting the bar for great performance.  Don’t get me wrong.  What we’re going for is to have employees who are self correcting, self motivating, and inspired to be on the team.

On some level the reality is as a Leader your going to be the biggest pacesetter and cheerleader of them all.

Get over it!

A business coach can help you learn or refine the skills essential to being a great leader these days.  New leadership muscle can be acquired with a little hard work and stretching with your business coach.  If you are ready for the challenge, contact

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
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Coaching Mindset: Grapes or Employees – Keep Them on the Verge of Discomfort for Business Results

What do winemaking and business have in common? 

While celebrating our 20th anniversary, Karen and I visited the Napa Valley wineries.  A friend of mine, Tony Wasowicz, is the Chief Winemaker at Michel-Schlumberger Wines (  Tony gave us a tour and explained all of the latest thinking on organic farming.  I asked naively, “so I imagine that you give the grapes a good supply of water?”  He said, “no, in fact we found that when we gave them a plentiful supply of water they became plump and fat, and not very flavorful.  Tony explained that they found that if they kept the grapes on the edge of starvation it creates the most fruitful and delicious grape which in turn makes the best wine. 

That hit me right between the eyes!  Isn’t it the same in life and business?  If you look at human nature, when things are plentiful and easy, we tend to become lethargic, bloated, and not as fulfilled or sharp.  It’s the same thing in Coaching.  As a leader it is your job to keep people in a state of disequilibrium.  We need to actually keep them on the edge of competitiveness and challenging themselves to create the greatest performance, focus, and execution.  Now, not to by cynical, but the folks who are not leaders are kind of sitting back hoping they can be plump, fat and not working that hard.

As a Coaching Leader, it is your job to make sure that you keep them stretched and growing.  Growth and change require a certain amount of discomfort, just like the grapes.  As a Coach, don’t let your people become raisins ro bloated grapes, challenge them just enough.  In winemaking discomfort leads to great tasting wine – In Business Coaching discomfort leads to great business results and personal satisfaction.  In my work as a CEO Coach, I find that most CEOs are constantly trying to create the right amount of disequilibrium with their staff.  Keep stretching them!  Try the Coach Approach and you and your team will get the most our of each other.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
  • Comments Off on Coaching Mindset: Grapes or Employees – Keep Them on the Verge of Discomfort for Business Results

Don’t you love it when you see passion in business performance?

Okay let’s face it… every day we are giving a performance!  Like great musicians and actors, we are going to have an opportunity to hit the notes just right, “nail the scene” or “mail it in”.  It’s our choice.  It’s our responsibility.

We seem to forget that at times.  This is true in our business performance, our friend performance, our coworker performance, our significant other performance, and our parent performance.

Let me give you an examples of peak performance.

Let me introduce you to Veronica Lodge.   Veronica is the shoeshine professional over at V’s Barbershop in my neighborhood.  Let me set the backdrop.  I’ve been having the same person at an unnamed shoe shop shine my shoes for the past 10 years.  I have been a loyal customer.

I’m in getting my hair cut at V’s last month and Veronica comes over with all her enthusiasm and attitude and starts to tell me what it takes to be a really great shoeshine.  She goes on with such confidence and determination explaining how her shoe shines are like no other.  She says, “They last longer.  Look better.  Keep shoes looking like new all of the time.”

I’m sold.  She takes my shoes, shines them, all the while, still talking on and on about a great shoeshine.  I have to tell you it was a great shoeshine.  I’m taking my shoes to Veronica even when I’m not going in for a haircut.

What’s most amazing about Veronica is her passion, determination and confidence about what she does.  Of course the best part is her business results are equal to her promise she makes in her confidence in her service.  I have to say, as a business coach, I run across many people who have confidence that doesn’t equal the results they produce.  Back to Veronica.  Please don’t take this the wrong way Veronica .  Veronica is selling a five dollars service.  A service some would say is less than glamorous, not high on their career choice list.  But to Veronica it is the most important thing in the world when she is at work.

I’m thinking to myself, what would happen if all of those business people I work with every day had the same kind of positive attitude, determination and confidence that Veronica took in her shoeshine service?  The world would be a better place.

In our business coaching we are trying to help business people, CEOs, and business leaders be more like Veronica.  Be passionate about what you do.  Be the best at it.  Go confidently after acquiring more clients and deliver on what you promise.

In the meantime, just hope Veronica doesn’t switch to your profession.  My guess is she would kick your ass.

Oh yeah.  Do me a favor.  Take your shoes in to Veronica and if it isn’t the best shoeshine you’ve had, let me know.  I’d be surprised.

Effective Communication is the cornerstone of business performance

One of the backdrops of coaching and business coaching is performance.  Executive coaching and business coaching are designed to help participants find new awareness, techniques, and strategies so they can be more effective at what they do and reach higher levels of performance.

To be in a position to evaluate performance, we must first be able to define performance.  In the business world there are several ways to measure performance including:

  • Profitability and financial strength
  • Customer/client satisfaction and retention
  • Market share in comparison to the overall market

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