Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Two Go Hand in Hand

A big part of being an effective leader is about making the proper choices. We cement ourselves as competent leaders who can be trusted through the things we do and it also provides an example for others to follow.

Of course, this doesn't happen by accident.

There's this thing called awareness that also has to be in place.

I recently had an opportunity to catch up with Doug Moran.

Doug is a leadership development expert, executive coach and founder of If You Will Lead, a leadership consultancy and coaching firm.

He chatted with me about the importance of awareness in the leadership framework.

Doug is also the author of the book "If You Will Lead" which is based on the 19th century poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. It's due to be released in the Spring of 2010.

Doug explains.

Join me on the next episode of HCL Radio where Doug and I chat about the forthcoming book, the differences between managing and leading and the work of his firm.

Visit If You Will Lead for more information

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Putting People First

HCL Radio is pleased to welcome Tommy Spaulding to the program to talk about the power of authentic relationships.

Tommy is the president of Spaulding Companies, a national leadership development organization who's career is built on valuable, authentic relationships.

He teaches audiences how to achieve greater success through forming deeper, more authentic relationships with customers, employees and clients.

Click here to listen to Tommy's thoughts on authentic relationships

Connecting with others at a deep real level should be the goal of any leader looking to make a lasting impact with those around them.

Tommy believes that we can lead through the power of relationships and talks about how leaders can use love in the workforce.

HCL Radio - Where developing leaders is more than just a game.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank You Thank You Thank you!

Thanks to you and your support, Hard Court Lessons has been chosen as the one of the successful blogs to move on to the second and final round of the Canadian Blog Awards for the Professional Life Category!

It was a decisive first place win and Hard Court Lessons captured over 46% of votes for the victory. See the results here.

It couldn't have been possible without your support and for that, thank you!

We've now moved on to the second and final round and I'm asking you to log on and cast your vote to name Hard Court Lessons the best blog in Canada!

You can cast your vote here.

Thanks so much for your support once again!

Thanks for reading!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Toughest Lesson

It's a tough pill to swallow when things in life don't go the way we intended them to or worse, not in our favour at all.

We immediately get an instant crash course lesson in patience, humility and acceptance.

Motivational speaker and author, Andy Hill was forced to learn these lessons in his college days as a member of UCLA's basketball team.

The former CBS executive was a highly recruited basketball player but didn't see a lot of playing time in Coach Wooden's system during his three years.

As a result, he became bitter and resentful and didn't talk to Coach Wooden for over 25 years after he left UCLA.

Upon reflection, Hill says that the fact that he didn't play much was the best thing that could have happened to him.

Andy Hill joins the next episode of HCL Radio to talk about his experiences, his career and the things he realized from John Wooden.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Elected Point Guard

Kevin Johnson was a fierce point guard during his 12 years in the NBA.

The guy known simply as KJ, joins Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 12 assists in a single season.

This is a clear indication that Kevin knows a thing or two about teamwork and working collectively to achieve a common goal.

When his playing days ended, Kevin focused his attention on giving back to others and started at the place where he grew up, Oak Park, California.

He founded a not for profit organization called St. Hope and his work in the community eventually led to a political career.

Kevin Johnson would go on to become Sacramento’s first ever African American mayor in 2008.

On the court, Kevin played the point guard position and took on the role of floor general where he essentially was an extension of the coach.

He provided leadership and stability and would call plays for his teammates that would put them in the best situations to be successful.

During an interview, the Phoenix Suns all time leader in assists provided a quick simple comparison between being a politician and a point guard in the NBA.

If you ask the lightning quick point guard, he’ll tell you that his time on the court as a player helped get him ready him for a career in politics.

He said, “My days in the NBA have certainly prepared me for what I’m doing today”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Canadian Blog Awards Nomination!!

I'm happy to say that Hard Court Lessons has been nominated for the Canadian Blog Awards for the Best Professional Life Blog

There are 20 nominations from across Canada for the first round and the top 5 will move on to the second round.

Round one voting will run from December 1-12 and round two will be from December 13 - December 19.


I'm asking you to log on, click on professional life and cast a vote for my site.

You don't have to rank the entire list; in fact, you can rank as little or as many as you desire and you can vote as often as you'd like.

I'd also ask if you could forward this link to friends and colleagues who might also appreciate and support my leadership site.

Twitter Facebook - however you can help promote it is greatly appreciated.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's All About The 90%

Famed pastor, author and founder of Insight For Living, Charles Swindoll said this about attitude, "We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."

Although it's a simple concept, developing and maintaining a positive attitude is a challenge for many.

When you stand up in front of a group of people and talk about its importance, most will nod their head in agreement however, a vast majority of people still choose to take the negative route.

Leaders more than anyone else need to embrace the 90% and understand that a positive attitude is contagious.

Darci Lang is speaker and trainer who uses her mental magnifying glass to help individuals recognize the good things in life.

Darci joins the next episode of HCL Radio to chat about the role of a leader in creating a positive enviorment and the negative impact not being positive can have on the lives of others.

Darci is also the author of Focus on The 90%

Click here to listen to my conversation with Darci.

Hard Court Lessons - Where developing leaders is more than just a game!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Game Plan For Life

The topic of mentorship has always been important to me. While working with the federal government, I was a project manager of a student recruitment program that hired post secondary students for the summer to help them gain valuable work experience.

I was in role for approximately five years and took it very seriously. With a large number of the students hired never having worked before, it was important to me to ensure that their first experience was a positive one.

It may not have been included as part of my job description but I knew that I was their mentor.

Several months back I was contacted by a writer who was doing a piece on mentorship and was asked for my thoughts on the topic.

In my view, the role of a mentor is very similar to that of a teacher but with a slight wrinkle.

The traditional model of a mentorship relationship has a more experienced and perhaps wiser individual imparting knowledge to a less experienced person.

The thing with mentoring that many don`t realize is that it can happen anytime or anyplace and isn`t designated to a monthly time slot or a discussion over lunch.

Our actions or how we live our lives can serve as mentors to others.

As we learn in John Wooden`s book, A Game Plan for Life, it`s even possible for us to have mentors who we`ve never met.

The book is broken down into two parts. Coach Wooden identifies the seven mentors who had a profound impact on his life in the first half.

In the second half, he then shares stories about seven people whose lives he helped shaped. One of those seven is Bob Vigars, an elementary school teacher from Canada who life was profoundly impacted by Coach Wooden.

Oh yeah, they`ve never met before.

My good friend, Don Yaeger co-authored A Game Plan for Life and joins me on the next episode of HCL Radio to talk about this very special project.

Listen as Don describes how this book came to be.

In addition, I`ll also be joined by Bob Vigars who shares exactly what Coach Wooden has meant to him.

Here part of what Bob had to say.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Making Conversations Fierce & Real

Helping individuals and organizations understand the importance of having real conversations is at the heart of what Fierce Inc. does.

It's a training and development provider, with a focus on communication and conversations as drivers of individual and organizational success.

Fierce Inc.
CEO, Susan Scott Susan is a best-selling author, leadership development architect, and a recognized thought leader in the global business community.

Susan helps organizations achieve success through recognizing the value of Fierce Conversations.

Listen to Susan`s explanation of what a fierce conversation is.

Her latest book, `Fierce Leadership:A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today focuses on how leaders can connect with their customers and employees at a deep level.

Being careful about the things said prevents that deep connection from taking place and as Susan puts it, `a careful conversation is a failed conversation.`

Susan joins the next episode of HCL Radio to chat about the book and the work of Fierce Inc.

Click here to listen to the interview.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Being The Boss

Whether you have the title of manager, supervisor, CEO or chief bottle washer - you're in a challenging role.

Our society looks to leaders to lead and isn't overly forgiving when they don't succeed.

Author, trainer and keynote speaker Wally Bock joins the next episode of HCL Radio to discuss his work and the kinds of things he can teach individuals to be better leaders.

Listen Wally's explanation of work life balance.

Wally is a savvy businessperson, decorated Marine vet and a successful business owner who brings extensive knowledge of leadership, business, and society together.

He provides some great insights on how individuals can be better supervisors and managers in the workplace.

Plus he also encourages leaders to be conscious about their development by trying things because as Wally puts it, "You're going to make mistakes".

Tune in to HCL Radio to hear more from Wally about how leaders can perform better in the workplace.

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toughen Up

Have you ever wondered what mental toughness is?

It's that thing we all have inside that helps us work through life's adversities and challenges and helps us to achieve our goals.

I recently asked mental toughness guru, author and public speaker, Steve Siebold to provide a definition.

Click here to listen to what he said.

Mental toughness could be used in virtually any situation from the basketball court to the office or out shopping in a crowded mall.

Steve joins HCL Radio to discuss mental toughness and its importance in our lives.

Plus he'll share why anyone can use mental toughness to get the things they really want.

Tune in to HCL Radio to hear more from Steve on harnessing the power of mental toughness.

Click here to listen to the interview.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Decade of Dominance

Hall of Fame NFL coach, Bill Walsh experienced great success on the football field and his 10 years with the San Francisco 49ers undoubtedly made him one of the greatest coaches of all time.


* He was named the NFL's Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984;

* He won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers;

* He drafted great players like Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and Jerry Rice proving that he had an eye for talent;

* But most importantly, he had a heart for people and recognized that they were an important part of an organization's success.

Steve Jamison, co-author of Bill's latest book "The Score Will Take Care of Itself" comes back to the program to talk about this extraordinary coach and what made him successful as a leader.

As Steve puts it, Bill's leadership ability to get "buy-in" from his teams was advanced.

He also understood that the skills needed to be successful could be applied to the business community, the football field and life.

Tune in to HCL Radio to hear more from Steve on this very special coach.

Listen to the entire interview with Steve.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making You Greater

When 11 all-star centre, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat at the end of the 2004-2005 season, the former first round draft pick made two promises to Heat fans.

He committed to help the franchise win its first championship title and he vowed to do everything in his power to make their young star player, Dwayne Wade an even better player.

Shortly after being traded Shaq said during an ESPN interview,`I want to make him the best guard in the Eastern conference, no forget that, I want to make him the best guard in the game.`

The Big Aristotle took all his knowledge and experience from his championship title days in LA and poured them into the guy he nicknamed, Flash.

Shaq made good on his promises as the Miami Heat became the eventual champions and through the process, Flash was the Finals MVP.

O`Neal may not have realized this but he had subscribed to a leadership philosophy simply encapsulated in three simple letters.


The Greater Than Yourself concept is based on the premise that great leaders become great because they cause others to be greater than they are.

It`s also the title of Steve Farber`s book.

Steve Farber is a leadership expert, author, speaker and guest on the next episode of HCL Radio.

As Steve describes,`├Čt`s a person that you`re going to invest yourself in to raise them up above you.`

Visit the Greater Than Yourself website for information how you can become involved or check out the GTY Project group on LinkedIn.

Tune in to HCL Radio - Where developing leaders is more than a game!

Click here to listen to the entire interview with Steve.

Thanks for reading!

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