Building off strength builds up the entire team

Unfortunately, one of our greatest human flaws is to look for the faults, negative attributes, and areas of weakness in others.

We’re hardwired to compare and judge each otherthis goes for teams, businesses, cities, townships, countries, you name it, we tend to compare ourselves to others and try to make ourselves feel superior.

As leaders, we need to change this default setting. According to the book “Nine Lies About Work,” when it comes to creating high-performing teams, highlighting the positive in our employees is a MUST. Here’s the data: Ignoring your employees causes a 1 engaged to 20 disengaged ratio. Negative attention is 40x more effective than ignoring people; the ratio of engaged to disengaged is 2:1. Positive attention creates a 60:1 engaged to disengaged ratio and is 30x more powerful than giving them negative attention and 1,200 times more powerful than ignoring them.

We’re leaving enormous potential on the table when we focus on the negative attributes of our employees. Not only are employees more engaged, but they are more productive, more creative, and are better and faster learners when we focus on their strengths. Positive attention accelerates development. I see this in my own children. When I commend one of them for doing something well, they ALL want to do well. When I scold them for their negative behavior, they tend to repeat that behavior.

Action steps to highlight strengths:

  1. Work on your own inner dialogue when it comes to your employees’ behavior. Look for and applaud the positives instead of letting your innate default setting take over.
  2. When assisting an employee with one of their weaknesses, start the conversation with three things they’ve done well or three things that have worked in the past. This allows the conversation to live in a positive frame of mind.
  3. Know, understand, and foster your employees’ strengths. Put them in positions at work where their strengths can shine more than their weaknesses. For example, If they’re more detail-oriented and analytical, put them in charge of the operations. If they’re more big-picture problem solvers the let them be on the creative side of the business.
  4. Make sure the feedback, advice, and guidance you receive highlight your strengths so that this becomes the way you do business in all aspects of your life.
  5. Make your business a positive, strengths-based business and you’ll be watching the “Great Resignation” happen to others instead of letting it happen to yourself.

Are you asking yourself, “How do I do this?” I can help!
[email protected]
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team

Courageous vulnerability boosts your Team’s connections, understanding, and innovation.

When describing vulnerability, I’m not referring to Merriam Webster’s definition, “open to attack or damage.” I’m also not saying that leaders and Team members need to bear their souls and talk about all of their weaknesses. The vulnerability I’m referring to is the ability to ask for help, rely on one another, admit when wrong, celebrate Teammates’ wins,  see the value in being something other than that tough-skinned Autobot that has no feelings and only thinks about creating more widgets and making more money. I’m talking about the vulnerability that produces magical moments of insight, creativity, innovation, and unites Team members through commonalities and compassion.

During the civil war, the leader on horseback was the most vulnerable person in the formation—the exemplar of courage and steadfastness in the face of danger. When there’s trust, people don’t take shots at you—they help. Soldiers rally around the leader and Teammates offer help and support. You can admit mistakes and shortcomings and you can experiment and fail. What are the limits of vulnerability? How are you modeling vulnerability and leading the charge for your Team? 

I used to teach a semester-long adventure education course at a suburban high school. One of the capstone experiences was our overnight camping trip. Inevitably, we had students that had never slept outside, sat around a campfire, observed the stars outside the city limits, or cooked a meal over the fire. For some, it was very spiritual. As the night settled down, we sat in a circle around the fire and shared our hopes and dreams for our future. These nights took on a magical essence. Students bore their souls and showed their vulnerability. Oftentimes we ended the night with glow sticks and group hugs. The classes’ emotional awareness, psychological safety, and connectivity grew exponentially during those nights. This single night of vulnerability cracked open the thick layer of teenage self-consciousness, and our class moved from classmates to family.

These overnights became so legendary that students came to the campfire knowing they would shed tears and open their hearts. They anticipated a transformation with their classmates and embraced the change with open hearts. The best part? Our classes’ efficiency, creativity, productivity, understanding, and joy also increased exponentially for the remainder of the semester. The kids, who were sometimes a pain in the butt, quit their disruptive behavior. The disengaged became fully engaged. The unhappy came to school with a greater sense of belonging. The transformation was tangible.

“Vulnerability is not a weakness. That myth is profoundly dangerous… Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to a feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable the sharing is probably not constructive.” ~Brene Brown

Why it’s important:

  • Authenticity – Vulnerability allows each person to work as their best selves. They own their strengths, acknowledge their weaknesses, and find the best fit for their skills. They are accepted and have a strong sense of belonging.
  • Greater sense of belonging – Your Team will have stronger connections, a deeper understanding of each other, greater empathy and compassion, and they will be able to practice benevolence and interdependency. 

Greater passion for their work – When your Team is vulnerable, they can work interdependently towards a common goal and hold each other accountable. Notice how this doesn’t say that the boss will hold everyone accountable. No, the Team will hold each other accountable. Everyone has a clear purpose, and they know what their job entails and their expectations of one another. Talk about buy-in!

What is your equivalent to sitting around the campfire or riding on horseback? What event or activity can you create to drill through the core of ego and self-consciousness? As we navigate our polarized world, how are you using this opportunity to create a deeper understanding of one another instead of a deeper divide?

Know who you are and what you stand for. Just as importantly, get to know your employees at the same level. Allow people to express themselves respectfully. When you’re vulnerable feel safe, they will stick around and willingly contribute their best.

Laura Colbert Consulting Programs

  • The Trusted Advisor Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, relentless accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results.

Additional Offerings: 

Join our central Wisconsin in-person or online Impactful Leadership Lunch. Join like-minded leaders during this monthly mastermind lunch group to improve your business efficiency, boost employee retention, and get you focused on doing what gives you joy.

Are you looking for a Keynote Speaker at your next event? I use my past experiences and knowledge to show you how to be the best version of yourself, surround yourself with the right people, and build highly productive teams. 

People without Chests are easy Prey for the Demagogues who Pit People against each Other

Building Chests

“The head rules the belly through the chest,” C.S. Lewis tells us, but the belly will override the head if there’s no chest.


The metaphor is from Plato. The head => logic, the belly => emotion, and the chest => virtue. People “without chests” are viscerals, governed by emotion.

A century after Lewis and a couple of millennia after Plato, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman described two human thinking systems in his book Thinking … Fast and Slow. System 1 is the emotional, governed by the amygdala, that controls our fight or flight instincts. System 2, the analytic brain, is slower and requires more effort. You have to pay close attention when using System 2, and a threat or distraction allows System 1 to retake control.

People without chests are easy prey for the demagogues who pit people against each other. System 1 runs amok when people point to those who look, act, or think differently as an existential threat or source of evil. Restraint goes out the window when you are fighting Beelzebub.

Virtue has gone out of fashion, argues Roosevelt Montás in Rescuing Socrates, and I wonder if the absence of leaders with chests has contributed to the breakdown of our politics, corporate governance, civil society, and organizations. Only people without chests could think racism, revenge racism, misogyny, bigotry, fraud, deceit, and the like are ok as long as they advance your agenda. And yet, here we are.

Ancient Greco-Roman philosophers believed that following the four cardinal virtues — wisdom, justice, courage, and self-discipline — was essential for living the good life and having a healthy republic, army, business, or organization. Confucius and other ancient eastern thinkers wrote similarly. Practicing timeliness principles builds your chest so that your head can rule your belly.


Building leaders with chests requires learning from theory, history, and experience. You need the big ideas about fostering the common good, the history of effective and failed leaders so that you can learn from their successes and failures, and personal experience in the arena to put the chest into practice.

It’s easy to let the chest diminish. Apathy does the trick, and history shows the consequences.

Theory and history without experience put you in the ivory tower of impracticality, while theory and experience without history make you vulnerable to silly fads. Without theory, experience and history trap you in the hamster wheel of tactics without strategy.

Leaders with chests do what’s right, the right way, without you having to watch over them. Imagine the impact on your business when you have people committed to the common good who are doing the right things, taking the initiative, and innovating. Imagine the consequences of the opposite.

My mission is to help successful people like you gain new heights by being the best version of yourself and inspiring people to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.

Accelerating your Success

Predictable unpredictability is a new reality. How will you help your clients thrive? 

The Innovation Mindset is an 8-week mastermind that begins in February. We’ll examine the most important 2022 forecasts for implications to small business leaders, consultants, and experts. Each week, the group meets for 90-minutes to develop unique intellectual property that sets you apart from the pack (who’s always swinging behind the pitch) and gives you significant competitive advantages in serving your clients. Your investment will pay for itself in a single sale. I’m limiting the group to 8; the fee is $5500. Reply to this email to see if the program is a good fit for you.

The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain sustainable habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, strict accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results so that you reach your goals more quickly and consistently. Soar to new heights here.

Just because you built buy-in doesn’t mean it will stick around. It needs cultivation and invested time. 

Buy-in

So often, we feel as though we have to keep our cards close to our chests as leaders. We don’t want scrutiny. We worry that the plan has to be perfect—which doesn’t exist—before we reveal it. Maybe there’s a lack of trust within our Team. Perhaps we think our Team isn’t capable of thinking at our level. Or, we’re worried that our Team is not ready for change so we prolong telling them about it until the plan is done and it needs to be executed immediately. 

The best way to gain buy-in? Put your people first and treat them as professionals. How do you do that? You bring them to the table. You give them the confidence to provide valuable feedback. When you have time to do so, getting people to contribute their ideas before you make a decision allows you to adopt some or all of them and increase buy-in. Gaining their ideas in advance is more plausible than gaining feedback from them after you’ve made a decision. When you make this practice a habit, then people will better understand the times when you need to make an immediate decision.

How to gain organizational buy-in:

  1. Trust – Be authentic and vulnerable. Your Team is better together. One-on-one meetings and small team meetings are great ways to foster this trust.
  2. Psychologically safe environment – practice empathy and compassion and create a space where everyone can have a voice. 
  3. Request input and feedback – Ask specific questions and really address your Team’s concerns—allow everyone to speak. Don’t be overly attached to ideas. 

How to get buy-in for an idea: 

  1. The “WOW” factor – Let your Team know how this is going to positively impact them and the organization. 
  2. Share your journey on developing this plan – Tell them why you think this is the best one. Bring data to the table for your operational thinkers. Share examples of success. Use storytelling. Use  “what if we did nothing?” or “what else could we do?” scenarios so that your team can see why this is the best way forward.
  3. Ask for input and feedback early and often – Tell your Team that you’re still in the brainstorming stages and you want them to poke holes in the current plan. 

Once you have buy-in, how do you keep it?

  1. Communicate often – Clarify timelines, keep your direct reports and the Team updated on the progress. Document your various steps along the way on an open forum.
  2. Establish ownership – Use “we” and “us” when discussing the Team and the plan. These simple words will spread buy-in and a sense of belonging.
  3. Celebrate wins – Give credit to others when things go well. Take ownership of pitfalls.

What happens when you get crickets in a meeting? It could be one of three things. 

  1. Processing time – Make sure you are speaking at the speed of trust. Sometimes too much information can be overwhelming and people shut down.
  2. Fear –  They don’t want to pop your balloon, they don’t want to look stupid, they may have been burned in the past, or they are afraid of speaking up. You can eliminate most of the fear by developing trust and psychological safety.
  3. Indifference – They may be thinking, why fix it if it isn’t broken, we’ve always done it this way, we’ve tried that before, what can I do anyways, or glad I’m not at the helm! These statements are in contrast with continuous improvement. Don’t let your Team drift with these negative mind frames.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” ~ Steve Jobs

Do you have newly promoted leaders that you want to thrive and master their added responsibilities and challenges? Then the Lead Well program is perfect for them. SIGN UP NOW by booking a free 30-minute consultation with Laura! Only a few spots left. The next session starts in the beginning of February!

J

Biden
Biden

When under stress, Reconcilers, like President Biden, tend to give excessive weight to the loudest and most pious voices in the room.


I’ve admired President Biden since he visited our remote outpost in Afghanistan in 2008 and praised our paratroopers in a National VFW speech. I found his sincerity and open-mindedness refreshing, and he quickly got the importance of our relationship-building efforts to Afghans. Biden agreed that accumulating allies was more helpful than aggregating your enemies. He talks about that visit when he mentions the Kunar River Valley in his Afghanistan speeches.

I’m having difficulty reconciling his words in 2008 with his recent speech that branded half or more of his citizens as treasonous racists (here’s a favorable view of the speech). He deserves credit for building the most physically diverse cabinet in history and could benefit from boosting cognitive diversity among his advisers.

Just because people look different does not mean they think differently. Cognitive uniformity puts you in an echo chamber that leads to poor decisions. Confirmation bias is like freebasing your own gunpowder. When under stress, Reconcilers, like President Biden, tend to give excessive weight to the loudest and most pious voices in the room. [Stressed Pioneers, like Biden’s predecessor, often surround themselves with sycophants and become louder and more outrageous.]

Civil War General William Rosecrans, also a Reconciler, won a string of victories in Tennessee as his army captured Chattanooga. Battlelines drew together at Chickamauga. The Union generals nagged Rosecrans for particular places and reinforcements. The Confederates attacked when Rosecrans shifted forces to please a subordinate. The mass confusion led to a defeat that sent Union forces back to Chattanooga, and Rosecrans lost his job.

Lincoln and Eisenhower were Reconcilers, too, and valued cognitive diversity. They surrounded themselves with people committed to the common good who presented different points of view, respected each other, and challenged the leader’s thinking. This practice helped them to avoid super empowering the loudest and most pious. Their decisions weren’t always perfect, but they tended to avoid self-inflicted disasters.

Lincoln held the Union together, gained buy-in for the Emancipation Proclamation and the 14th Amendment, and won the war. Eisenhower amassed consensus to end the Korean War and build the interstate system, a large standing military, and a robust nuclear deterrent.

Cognitive diversity was also vital in the success of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. I highly recommend The Sword and the Shield (which is on my 2022 reading list) in which Peniel E. Joseph discusses Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (a Maverick) and Malcolm X (a Pioneer).\

Pioneers, Reconcilers, Operators, and Mavericks — our PROM archetypes — have distinct superpowers and different reactions when under significant stress (you tend to be your most extreme version). When you know this about yourself, you can sense the warning signs and avoid surrounding yourself with subordinates who egg you on to extremes. When you know your subordinates’ archetypes, you can recognize their stress reactions and take steps that bring them back to their best selves.

The value of history is not in teaching you what to think but in how it heightens your critical thinking skills, aids self-examination, and highlights the importance of gaining diverse perspectives from trusted sources. Freebasing gunpowder tends to create bad outcomes. Whose bringing in the fresh air for you?

Are you interested in using history to take your critical thinking skills to new heights and develop practical action steps that accelerate your success? Join me and seven others on March 15-18 for the Antietam & Gettysburg exclusive. When you have meaningful discussions with other extraordinary people at powerful venues, you gain perspective that pays dividends for life. There are three places still open.

My mission is to help successful people like you gain new heights by being the best version of yourself and inspiring people to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.

compassion

Communication, Compassion, and Clear Expectations will Boost Employee Buy-in and Belonging so that you can Retain your Team.

Managing people is one of, if not the most, difficult leadership responsibilities. Leading people can sometimes feel like herding cats. If you need a good laugh during your next break, check out this hilarious commercial

The kaleidoscope of personalities, emotions, traumas, and conflicts creates challenges far beyond that of writing an email, creating a meeting agenda, designing a new program, and any other non-people-driven leadership tasks. 

How, in a world where employees leave companies at a rate higher than ever before, can you retain your most valuable commodities—your people? You do this through consistent communication, compassion, and clear expectations.

A lack of consistent communication is akin to leading a Team blind. They may feel isolated, left in the dark, and undervalued. Trust will diminish quickly without open communication. 

A leader’s level of empathy and compassion directly correlates with the Team’s joy and fulfillment. According to the Harvard Business Review, job satisfaction is 85% higher for an employee who works for a wise and compassionate leader than for an employee who does not. Empathy and compassion are powerful attributes that will enhance understanding and commitment. Without compassion, the Team moves into a compliance-driven environment.

Without clear expectations, work is based on assumptions and inefficiencies become the norm. Tear down the walls and offer clarity so that your Team has peace of mind and moves in the right direction.

Action steps to lead with enhanced communication, bolstered compassion, and clearer expectations:

  1. Communication:

Transparency – With increased workplace anxieties, it is vital that the leaders practice transparency to ease tensions and decrease the fight or flight inclinations that plague our workforce when people are under heightened stress. Your employees need to feel as though you aren’t holding anything back.

Close the loop – We often accomplish our tasks, but how often do we close the loop with our stakeholders? For example, if you promise to speak to your direct supervisor on behalf of a subordinate but don’t relay the conversation back to your subordinate, they lose faith in you and assume that you never had the conversation. 

Listen – Practice the “4:1 – two ears, two eyes, and one mouth approach.” It can be detrimental when the leader is the only one making the decision. It also eliminates a sense of autonomy and innovation with your employees. They need to feel heard and seen.

2. Compassion:

Feedback is a team effort – The book “Nine Lies About Work” and the Harvard Business Review Article “Feedback Isn’t Enough to Help Your Employees Grow” highlight the importance of positive corrective action. “Telling people they are missing the mark is not the same as helping them hit the mark.” Work through the challenge with your employees and take ownership if you were unclear with your expectations.

Honor diverse perspectives – make sure your most vulnerable feel safe so that they can contribute their best selves. If you accomplish this, your Team will have increased creativity, productivity, and joy. 

Have empathy, then move into compassion – Empathy is seeing things from someone else’s perspectives, which is vital but can stall our decision-making. Empathy + action = Compassion and allows us to address others’ concerns. Once you move to compassion, you can remove yourself from the emotions, ask what they need, and guide your employee to overcome their hurdles.

3. Clear Expectation:

Let go – Layout the “what” and the “why” and let your Team discover their “how.” As Harvard Business Review describes, “Leadership is about seeing and hearing others, setting a direction, and then letting go of controlling what happens next.” 

Have confidence in your Team – Have faith and patience in the process. It is more powerful to be an ally than a critic. 

Delegate tasks – Your people are your priority. Use this weekly check-in outline for productive conversations. If you don’t have time to check in weekly, delegate tasks that others can do so that you can check in and clarify expectations regularly. These expectations should be multilateral. The Team has expectations of their leaders and should be able to voice them. 

Do you have newly promoted leaders that you want to thrive and master their added responsibilities and challenges? Then the Lead Well program is perfect for them. SIGN UP NOW by booking a free 30-minute consultation with Laura! Only a few spots left. The next session starts in the beginning of February!

Additional Offerings: 

Join our central Wisconsin in-person or online Impactful Leadership Lunch. Join like-minded leaders during this monthly mastermind lunch group to improve your business efficiency, boost employee retention, and get you focused on doing what gives you joy.

Are you looking for a Keynote Speaker at your next event? I use my past experiences and knowledge to show you how to be the best version of yourself, surround yourself with the right people, and build highly productive teams. 

Book:

Sirens: How to Pee Standing Up – An alarming memoir of combat and coming back him. This book depicts the time of war and its aftermath. It seamlessly bridges the civilian and military divide and offers clarity to moral injury and post-traumatic stress. 

Fake
Fake it Till You Make it - Not Anymore!
Fake

Fake it till you make it seems innocent enough: if you show competence, confidence, and optimism, then your power of positive thinking will deliver the results you want.

Bulls–t said with conviction is still bulls–t. The fraud trial of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes tears the mask off of Silicon Valley’s “Fake it till you make it” mantra. A jury convicted Holmes of fraud over her bogus claims that Theranos’ blood-testing could detect a wide variety of illnesses.

It was a story everyone wanted to believe. A 19-year old Stanford dropout with a breakthrough idea ready to shatter Silicon Valley’s douchebaggerous bro culture. Her charisma fooled even the likes of former U.S. Defense Secretary General James Mattis into coughing up investment money until “I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos anymore.” Even the most seasoned decision-makers believe what they want to until disaster tears the veil from the eyes.

Fake it till you make it seems innocent enough: if you show competence, confidence, and optimism, then your power of positive thinking will deliver the results you want. Law of Attraction enthusiast Rhonda Byrne counsels’ people to make-believe. As you make-believe, she tells us, you will begin to believe that you have received.

It’s total claptrap.

I’m all about the importance of positive self-talk, along the lines that Dan Gilbert suggests in Stumbling on Happiness. You’ve got to believe in your ability to succeed and encourage yourself to take action. You get good results when you take wise steps, which reinforce your positive beliefs. It’s a virtuous cycle.

Authenticity is the difference between positive self-talk and fake-it-till-you-make-it charlatanism. Charlatans have conviction — charisma taken to an unhealthy extreme. Authentic people are humble: they recognize that others have value and that you can learn from them. They have a healthy degree of imposter syndrome.

Be for real, get the deal, is the antidote to charlatanism. Look for humility in business leaders, politicians, pundits, and others who want your support. Always get the other side of the story.

Attune your b.s. meter to those who speak with absolute conviction; run, don’t walk away.  

Here’s my 2022 reading list for leaders and consultants.

My mission is to help successful people like you gain new heights by being the best version of yourself and inspiring people to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.

Consulting Mastery is my 8-week mastery program for consultants and experts who want to build a meaningful, joyful, and profitable business and take it to new heights. This program, a variant of FOCUSED, orients exclusively on consultants and experts. I’ll run this program twice in 2022. We meet once per week for 90 minutes via zoom. The program begins in late January; only eight spaces are available. Your investment is $4500 by January 15; then, the fee rises to $5500. Most participants say that the program pays for itself in the first two weeks. Click here for more information and to apply.

Consulting Masterclass. In this interactive, 90-minute masterclass on January 13, you will gain the action steps you need to take your expert business to new heights.

1. How to carve your compelling niche: the three core ingredients to a successful expert business.

2. How to move your clients along the value chain that increases their results and your fees.

3. Setting solid foundations on the three most essential elements in taking your business to new heights.

4. Ways to innovate so that your business stays relevant to your clients and avoids complacency.

5. Action steps to maintain a positive trajectory and avoid the drift of most expert businesses.

I’ll take your questions during the event and remain available for an additional 30 minutes afterward. You’ll get a recording of the session.

By the end of this masterclass, you will have the actions you need to build a meaningful, joyful, and profitable expert business.

Register by clicking on the session you want.
11 am – 1 pm US Central.
2:30 – 4:30 pm US Central.

The fee is $379.

2022: New Year’s Resolutions Fails – Remember, Determination is the Shortest Path to Success

I was putting in the miles on my bicycle, preparing for the 1700-mile Fallen Hero Honor Ride in September 2022. Three months into my training, I had made progress, but to reach my full potential and maximize my chances of success I needed professional support.

Cycling guru Chuck Kyle had me get my bike custom-fitted for my body, and he created a training regimen that worked for me. His advice, program, and accountability have been game-changers. I’ve leaped forward, and I’m getting stronger and faster.

I learned the hard way long ago that creating resolutions and trying to will yourself to success rarely works. You make your ritual New Year’s resolutions, gut them out in January, and fall off the wagon in February.  Just look at the gyms, yoga studios, or any other self-improvement venue. Attendance in January skyrockets; good luck finding an available machine or mat. By mid-February, everything’s back to normal. The regulars are still there; the New Year’s resolution newcomers are gone.

What’s happening?

It’s not a lack of dedication or willpower. It’s the simple human tendency to drift, to settle into comfortable routines, to return to familiar habits.

Napoleon Hill wrote about this phenomenon in Outwitting the Devil, which is one of the books on my 2022 reading list for leaders and consultants.

You tend to know your situation and what success and failure look like. You find that the habits that keep you drifting become hard to break. Willpower may create temporary success but will fail if you haven’t set up the steps to make new practices habitual.

Poor application creates further drag. No one ever learned to drive a car solely by reading a book or watching a TikTok video. You gain some knowledge but lack the customized skill transfer. Staying on track becomes harder.

Lone wolfing dooms your New Year’s resolution because you have no accountability to do the right things, the right ways, customized to you. You return to the old habits, drifting hypnotically toward the place you do not want to go.

2022

Determination is the shortest path to success. P3A is the secret to making it happen: set a clear purpose, establish the priorities and organize your time and activities to meet them, surround yourself with the right people to create customized implementation and accountability.

A trusted adviser will help you clarify your purpose, and provide you with the skills transfer, tailored-to-you application, and accountability so that you stay focused and meet your goals. As your confidence builds, you take more action and get better results. The cycle becomes self-reinforcing and creates new habits that propel you to new heights.

Imagine a bisecting line: mediocrity, and a timeline along the bottom. Your comfort zone pulls you toward mediocrity. Habits become hypnotic and act like compounding interest over time. The longer you drift, the harder it is to reach the determination line.

The determination process gets results. Chuck Kyle, David Newman, and Alan Weiss are trusted advisers who have encouraged me, kicked my butt, helped me build new habits, and enriched my life. I’ve learned not to waste time and emotional energy on New Year’s resolutions. Invest, instead, in your determination curve and the payoff will take your life and business to new heights.

My mission is to help successful people like you gain new heights by being the best version of yourself and inspiring people to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.

2022

Shortening your Path to Success

Consulting Mastery is my 8-week mastery program for consultants and experts who want to build a meaningful, joyful, and profitable business and take it to new heights. This program, a variant of FOCUSED, orients exclusively on consultants and experts. I’ll run this program twice in 2022. We meet once per week for 90 minutes via zoom. The program begins in late January; only eight spaces are available. Your investment is $4500 by January 15; then, the fee rises to $5500. Most participants say that the program pays for itself in the first two weeks.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Consulting Masterclass. In this interactive, 90-minute masterclass on January 13, you will gain the action steps you need to establish your expert business or take your existing business to new heights.

1. How to carve your compelling niche: the three core ingredients to a successful expert business.

2. How to move your clients along the value chain that increases their results and your fees.

3. Setting solid foundations on the three most essential elements in taking your business to new heights.

4. Ways to innovate so that your business stays relevant to your clients and avoids complacency.

5. Action steps to maintain a positive trajectory and avoid the drift of most expert businesses.

I’ll take your questions during the event and remain available for an additional 30 minutes afterward. You’ll get a recording of the session.

By the end of this masterclass, you will have the actions you need to build a meaningful, joyful, and profitable expert business.

I will run two sessions of this program on January 13. Register by clicking on the session you want.
11 am – 1 pm US Central.
2:30 – 4:30 pm US Central. The fee is $279.

Predictable unpredictability is the new reality. 

How will you help your clients thrive?

The Innovation Mindset is an 8-week mastermind that begins in February. We’ll examine the most important 2022 forecasts for implications to small business leaders, consultants, and experts. Each week, the group meets for 90-minutes to develop unique intellectual property that sets you apart from the pack (who’s always swinging behind the pitch) and gives you significant competitive advantages in serving your clients. Your investment will pay for itself in a single sale. I’m limiting the group to 8; the fee is $5500. Reply to this email to see if the program is a good fit for you.

The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain sustainable habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, strict accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results so that you reach your goals more quickly and consistently. Soar to new heights here.

CEO Mastermind group
 is for Milwaukee-area small business leaders and consultants who want to accelerate their growth in 2022. We meet monthly for lunch, and you get unlimited access to me for coaching and advising. I’m limiting the group to 8. Four places are remaining. Reply to me for more details.

Leader

This exciting, innovative new program is designed specifically for recently promoted leaders to boost their culture, fill the “gaps” in their processes, and build strong teams.

Leader

Get your newly promoted leaders prepared to hit the ground running by doing the right things the right way. Lead Well will teach, inspire, and motivate your leaders so that they can build a solid foundation.

Lead Well breaks through the Peter Principle and provides the essential tools for newly promoted leaders. So often, leaders are great at what they do and then they’re promoted and left with little to no leadership training—a recipe for disaster. This program will rectify that problem by enhancing their abilities and behaviors and creating a leadership plan that is catered to each individual and their specific needs.

Do you have newly promoted leaders? If so, follow these action steps:

 Book a free 30-minute consultation with Laura to sign them up for Lead Well.

  • Once you sign your leaders up for success you can breathe easy because you care about your people! Take tomorrow off – you deserve it.

The bottom line: Set your leaders up for success. If you think I might be a good fit to help with this then here are some options: 

  • Lead Well: For Newly Promoted Leaders is an 8-week program that will help your newly promoted leaders thrive as they move from peer status to power status. The next program begins at the beginning of February. There are only 8 spaces available. Click here to download the one-pager. Are you a good fit for this program? SIGN UP NOW! Book a free 30-minute consultation with Laura to make sure this is the best fit for you.
  • Here is a partial list of results my clients typically gain: 
  • Lead with authenticity so that you lead as your best self and prune away what holds you back. 
  • Clarify your performance and behavioral expectations so that you can hold people accountable for results without feeling like a jerk.
  • Inspire your employees to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.
  • Set and maintain clear priorities so that your time, talent, and energy have the highest impact. 
  • Get the right people in the right roles doing the right things so that you boost productivity 2X – 3X and plug the drain on employee turnover. 
  • Make smart decisions amid turbulence and uncertainty so that you can innovate and lead change while avoiding expensive mistakes. 
  • Gain peace of mind to focus on strategy and growth because your team is committed to shared goals within a winning culture.

Sign up for a free quick coaching session here to see if we’re a good fit.

Here’s what people are saying about me:

“Laura is an amazing person, leader, and consultant. She is trustworthy and actively listens. Laura shares objective approaches to problem-solving. You need to do business with Laura!”

-Heidi Cuff – Healthcare Business Leader, MHI, BSN, RN

[email protected]

I put together this 2022 influential book list to shorten your path to success and avoid wasting time on faddish nonsense or hyped-up drivel. 

book

Here is a QR code to the booklist for leaders and consultants.

No one ever learned to drive a car solely by reading a book. You’ve got to get behind the wheel and practice.

Reading and learning from mentors make practice more successful. You learn the signs and rules of the road, ways to increase fuel efficiency, proper maintenance practices, and how to lower risk.

Imagine the opposite — learning to drive solely by practice. Traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities would skyrocket, impaired driving would be endemic, people would waste more fuel, and burn out more engines and transmissions. If you’ve ever driven in places like Afghanistan, you know what I mean.

Experience is the most influential teacher of leadership. You have to be in the arena. Relying on experience alone, though, puts you in the school of hard knocks, where the tuition is painful for you and the people you are supposed to lead.

The rules of the road are relatively fixed. Once you learn good driving practices, you are good to go. Leadership is different because your marketplace is constantly evolving, so your application of sound leadership habits needs to grow, too.

People look to leaders to anticipate the future and figure out how to succeed in the face of new and unexpected situations. These challenges are where leaders tend to make the biggest mistakes, which happen even faster when growing or facing competition.

Having trusted advisors that guide you, and reading about the experiences of others who faced analogous situations during other times or contexts, improves your practice and builds your imagination to lead your team successfully.

My mission is to help successful people like you gain new heights by being the best version of yourself and inspiring people to contribute their best and most authentic selves to your team’s success.

Here’s a link to one of the books I have on my list:

Alan Weiss, Your Legacy is Now

Create meaning that delivers worth and impact.