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Take a piece of the pie with this business approach April 2, 2012

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business, Business Success Coach, Canada, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Gen Y's, Job advice, Notes for Business, quality of life, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, Women.
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Today’s situation calls for some old ideas.

Consider:

  1. The economies of many countries are battered and bruised by recent events.
  2. Many individuals, formerly employed and making a good living, are having a tough time.
  3. Others, particularly millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) with energy and a good education, aren’t able to get a job.
  4. Organizations, strapped for cash, are unable to create the new, innovative products needed to compete.
  5. Communities in many areas are not able to maintain necessary services and upkeep. Staffing of must-have services like fire and police departments are seeing budgets slashed.
  6. Governmental bodies/elected officials don’t seem up to the needs of the job.
I speak to people around the world each week – most tell me that things are tough. Some report that markets are tougher than they’ve ever seen. Even in the so-called BRIC countries (originally Brazil, Russia, India, China – now expanded to South Africa) things seem to be going off the rails.
It’s time to revisit some old ways of doing business to get things moving again. I’m talking about ideas born in earlier tough times – back when it looked like the good times were gone forever.
Here’s one that I think has long legs, it’s an approach that can work now in different cultures and economies. It’s succeeded in environments as diverse as Winnipeg, Canada, a small town in California, and Mondragon, Spain.
The idea?  The Co-op.
For those of you not familiar with co-ops – Wikipedia defines them as,  “an autonomous association of persons who voluntary cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit. Cooperatives include non-profit community organizations and businesses that are owned/managed by the people who use its services (a consumer cooperative) and/or by the people who work there a worker cooperative.”
  • In Mondragon, a web of co-operatives manages that country’s 7th largest business.
  • In Manitoba, the provincial government has promoted the establishment of new co-ops to help build that economy into its most vibrant in decades.  When I was there recently I was impressed with lower gasoline prices and service people while filling up my rental car.
  • In California, the success of co-ops can be seen in programs initiated by the Mayor of Richmond who has promoted the idea to create new organizations and employment opportunities in a place that is facing little new income or growth otherwise.
The US has a history of cooperative movements, many economists contend that this idea saved the lives of individuals, towns and organizations during the 1930s.  The benefits include new employment opportunities, revitalization of communities and downtowns, greater self-respect for workers and management, and a highly engaged workforce who can compete toe to toe with any individual or any organization.
Could you use a break?  Ready to try something old? Check out co-ops.
Here’s to your future!
John
Executive leadership coach

150,000 showed up this weekend May 2, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, DIRECTV, Manswers, Personal action plans, Personal Success, professional speakers, quality of life, SWOT analysis, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, unemployment action, Women, women in management, working after quitting.
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This past weekend I was on a panel discussion at the LA Times Festival of Books.  

It was very encouraging to see that a “book fair” could bring about 150,000 people into downtown Los Angeles on one of the hottest days of the year.   Who’d have thought, in this day of ebooks and free online information about everything, (not to mention expensive gasoline @ $4.50 a gallon) that they’re would be this many folks prepared to make a trip to the campus of the University of Southern California, or USC, as it’s know around here.

Amazing and wonderful turnout.  The Times are to be congratulated for promoting this event, now in it’s 16 year I believe, and helping authors and readers come together in a well managed and very pretty environment.  The woman who headed it up for the newspaper, Maret Orliss, did an awesome job looking after everyone’s needs at once.

I was there, (supported, again, by beautiful wife Susan,) to participate in a panel discussion and book signing event for my new book, The Plan.  It came out in February and has been getting some good reviews across North America for being an easy to use and interesting book for anyone wanting to take control of their destiny.  I’m real pleased with how the momentum is growing.  My co-author, Canadian consultant and mentor Helen Latimer, put a lot of time into creating a “tool” as well as an interesting read.

The panel was called, Finding Life in Work.

Our moderator, Dennis Nishi, a writer himself, with articles in papers including The Wall Street Journal, had done his homework.  It was a treat to speak to someone who actually had read the book beforehand!  I was pleased that my belief that everyone should take advantage – and get  the benefits – from creating their own SWOT analysis, was widely embraced by the other panelists.

I know that many cities have book festivals.  Most people do not attend them and I’d guess it’s because they don’t think there will be much to interest them.  But having seen so many people of all ages actively engaged this past weekend, I’d encourage you to try it out.  You may learn something but even if you don’t, it’s a great way to connect with those in your city

Have a great week!

John

New book,The Plan, launches tomorrow! February 14, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business and career coaching, career success, Career Wisdom, Coaching, life balance, quality of life, Veracity.
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“Is this it?  Is this as good as it gets?”

Ever ask yourself questions like that?  If so, you’re certainly not alone.

As a business life coach, over the period of many years, I’ve asked many hundreds of people to rate how they’re doing.  My questions were usually like these:

  • How successful are you?
  • Has life turned out like you expected when you were in school?
  • Are you satisfied with your personal (or financial, or career) life?

What I found was that most people are not happy or satisfied with how things are going.  Only a very-small percentage rate themselves well, while most rated themselves not-very-good at all.

So, in my coaching practice, I started digging into the lives of those in that small group who had rated themselves as “satisfied” or “very satisfied”.  I wanted to see if there was anything that they all shared.  Was there some thing, or certain actions they all did that helped them have a great life, one they enjoyed – while the bulk of the people lived lifes that they weren’t happy with?

And – as I uncovered – there was.

I started testing these ideas with my clients.  Together we found that they could turn their lives around.  And it didn’t take a long time to change how things were going for them.  My clients repeatedly told me that they’d moved forward – into new successes, and were enjoying life more fully.

Breakthrough!

After seeing how effective this approach was, I got together with a trusted colleague, the Canadian consultant and mentor Helen Latimer,  to co-author a new book.

Our goal for this book was singular: To help as many people as possible to have a better life.

In it, we’d share insights from real people.  We detail the experiences of clients and others who’d found out how to live satisfying and successful lives.  We wanted to provide solid information and tools that anybody could easily use in her or his life.  It worked.

Our new book is called The Plan.

In The Plan, we share everything you might need to dramatically change your life.  We provide insight, tools, and worksheets that are easy to use.

We know this book will make a massive change to your life because we’ve seen the results first hand.  Check it out.  I know you’ll be glad you did.

John

Stay on your yoga mat November 8, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, quality of life, replenishment, Satisfaction, Tempur-Pedic, The 3 Key Life Aspects, Veracity, wellness, Women.
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Can you be competitive in a healthy way?  Yes, and in this item, business life coach John M McKee provides some insight into the best way to do it.

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Fitness counts.

Yes, I know you’ve heard that one before.  Yet, most of us don’t spend much time or energy getting fit.

It makes us better at work and at play.  We live longer and better.

I’m always amazed at how little physical activity some people do – shortening their life and reducing their enjoyment while their here.

Do you do yoga?  If not, consider adding it to your repertoire.

It will give you a more quiet mind, better body, and improve your disposition.  And, if you’re the kind of person who needs a “real workout” , give Bikram Yoga, some consideration.  It’s a kickass approach to gaining Zen while toning up and improving cardio.

And it’s non competitive.

That’s important.

When one is competitive with others, (s)he’s less likely to be satisfied with all she has already.  Dis-Satisfaction is a big hassle – it wrecks your sleep, can make you envious, and cause unhappiness.

Yoga -in either the traditional forms or in the kickass form – is all about doing your best and learning to be satisfied with improving at your own pace.  I once heard an instructor give this great advice:

“If you’re going to get competitive, at least stay on your own yoga mat.”

Compete with yourself.

  • It causes self reflection & can create self satisfaction.
  • It reduces the liklihood you’ll get envy or jealous at the same time.

I suggest you use this little life lesson in all that you do. And then share it with those you care about.

Here’s to your future.  It’s what you make of your life….

John

Public restrooms should be gender neutral October 19, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, Business Success Coach, CBS Interactive, Coaching, DIRECTV, emotional decisions, life balance, Offtime, Personal action plans, quality of life, Rants, Satisfaction, stress, The Four Windows Process, Veracity, well being, Women.
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Why aren’t most restrooms gender neutral?  In this posting, business life coach John M McKee makes the case that it’s time for a change.

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Out for dinner last night in San Francisco I took a quick trip to the restroom.  In and out, ( including time to wash my hands and check out appearance) was probably about 3 minutes.

It struck me when I came out, just how easy the trip was.  For most guys, it’s fast and easy.  Then I got to thinking about all the women I’ve seen waiting to use “the facilities” over the years.  I mean common everyday places like:

  • concerts
  • restaurants
  • movies
  • stores

It’s just dumb – isn’t it; that someone has to wait to use a restroom while another – often just next door – stands vacant?

Why aren’t public restrooms gender neutral?  I realize that I could be making life a bit more difficult for all guys if there was some change as a result of this question.  But hey, this deserves a little noodling.

If asked, would you agree that all public restrooms ( or at least most) be opened up to both women and men?

Here’s to the future!

John

Why most leaders suck at personal cash management: October 6, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business success, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Personal action plans, quality of life, The Four Windows Process.
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Most managers are inept when it comes to managing their own cash and personal finances.  And today – more than ever – one needs to be more conscious about how they look after their financial situation, especially their cash flow.

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Over the years, as both an executive and as a coach, I’ve witnessed something about managers and leaders over and over:

Many make ample money but are, technically speaking anyway, bankrupt.  They owe more than they own.  They’re entirely dependent on their paychecks to make even the minimum monthly payments, in many cases.  And the situation doesn’t neccessarily improve as they get promotions and raises during their careers – they simply start spending more so they still end up in dangerous waters.

At my coaching practice, Business Success Coach.net, we use The Four Windows Process in our client coaching.  Simply put, it’s predicated on the belief that each of us has 3 key aspects which combine to determine who we are.

These 3 aspects are:

Career side – This is the side of you who goes to work each day to earn money while working at something you’ve chosen for a job or career.

Personal / family aspect – This is that part of you which focuses on doing things which replenish you, with your friends and loved ones.

Finance element- This is the aspect of your life focused on how to manage the money you have over the short term and long run.

When properly done, using a plan and ensuring balance between them, they can create a life of great satisfaction.  However, if one or more of these life elements are not looked after, the result is often an individual who, despite some good successes – for example in her/his career or personal life – is very dissatisfied with their life overall.  Very frequently, it is the financial management aspect of their life that has them disappointed and frustrated.

Here’s a quick quiz to see how you’re doing.  Give yourself 1 point for each one you answer “yes”:

1. Do you know your actual monthly cash burn rate (how much you always spend)?
2. Do you know what your total monthly fixed expenses (the minimum you must spend to live) are?
3. Do you have a savings plan?
4. Are you keeping to the plan you made?  (eg: is it growing as planned?)
5. Do you have at least 3 months of cash for an emergency fund?
6. Conservative planners have 6 months. Do you?
7. Do you pay off your credit card balances at least 9 months out of 12?
8. Are is current total debt load (value of all you owe to anyone) lower than it was 12 months ago?
9.. Do you know your net worth (value of all you own less the value of debt including home)?
10. Do you rely on a bonus or other financial incentive to play “bill catch-up” each year?

Rating scale:

10 – please call the Commerce Secretary & offer to fix the US. We need you out there!
9 – awesome! You are one of a very few who are doing it right and you’ll reap the rewards
8 – excellent job – stand up and take a bow before the rest of the world!
7 – Nice work – with a little more focus you’ll be in a great place
6 – Good – you’re doing better than most people, but more effort is needed
5 – Seems like you understand the mechanics but need to be more dedicated
4 – You may want to consider marrying someone for money.
3 – This is not good.  You are in dangerous waters. Get involved. Now.
2 – A little better but you’d better start buckling down before it’s too late.
1 – This is serious.  You need to start getting more involved before it’s too late.

Here’s to your future!

John