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Why we decided to give away “The Plan” for free June 22, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", business success, Coaching, Job advice, life balance, Personal Success, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Plan, The Secret.
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Why are John M McKee and his co-author Helen Latimer giving away their new book The Plan?  In this blog, John shares the reasons behind a decision to forgo the revenue. Hint: there’s no “good business case” behind it.

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For a lot of reasons, the US economy – and those of most of the world – isn’t improving .

Currently, in this country there are 4 key issues affecting us:

1. Unemployment is recorded at 9.1% –  that’s an historical high.  An,d in reality, about 12% of the workforce is out of work when you count those no longer qualifying for unemployment coverage.

2. Housing sales are at levels below last year – which was down from the year before.  We have enough houses on the market to satisfy demand for 3 years

3. People don’t feel good about the future – in the country that is historically the most optimistic in the world, we no longer feel like winners.  We worry about our jobs, retirement and our childrens’ future.

4. Inflation is on the rise – combined with the impact of hurricanes, fires and floods in the areas that supply us with our food, we’re going to see prices rising very quickly.

The bad news isn’t uniquely American either. Aside from Brazil, China and India, there are very few big countries who expect a better future. This is clearly a challenging time for people everywhere.

I was discussing this with my colleague and the co-author of our new book, The Plan.  And we decided that, in a small way, we could help.

Our book is intended to provide a unique approach to getting what you want out of life.  It’s based on the same method used by very-successful organizations and individual, so you know it works.

We believe that this giveaway – which is only for a limited time – may help a lot of individuals to get clear about what they should do next.   Giving away an ebook that we sell every day for $7.99 isn’t exactly the best business model, obviously.

But we hope that people who take us up on this free offer will ultimately regain perspective and get back to being successful.  So it’s worth it.

To take advantage of this click here or go to my coaching practice website Business Success Coach.net where you’ll see it on the right side of each page.

Here’s to your success!

John

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Why get a degree? April 4, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, career planning, career success, Career Wisdom, CBS Interactive, Coaching, DIRECTV, Gen Y's, Job advice, new jobs, Personal action plans, The Secret, Veracity.
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For most people, getting a degree today has become a bad investment.

I believe that most of these individuals would be better off simply getting into the workplace sooner.  It’s not that I’m against education – I’m actually a strong advocate of lifelong learning.  It’s just that – for most college kids – the job market is no longer likely to provide any kind of ROI.

Consider these stats which I picked up in Forbes Magazine:

During the past 30 years, overall inflation in the US was 106%

Health care costs went up 251%

College tuitions and fees?  Up 439%!

Translation: the cost of tuition / room / board are increasing at a rate 6 times faster than the average earnings of a college grad.  Combine that with the fact that there are fewer hi pay jobs today as a result of global hiring, and the math simply no longer is right.

Many very successful people are college dropouts.  They include Steve Jobs (Apple) , Bill Gates (Microsoft), Clare Danes (actor), Richard Branson (Virgin), Dave Thomas (Wendys), Albert Enstein.  I’m in the same boat (– although clearly not in the same league..)

I discussed this trend more deeply in my 2nd book Career Wisdom.   At this point I now use a ‘rule of thumb’ when giving students ideas to noodle about their career:  Don’t go into any type of work that can be done faster or cheaper:

– by a computer (eg: accountants hate Turbo Tax)

– by someone overseas ( this now includes doctors by the way)

– online (eg: lawyers hate sites that do divorces or estate plans for 1/4 their cost)

We are truly moving into an era of the creative class where people are valued for their new ideas and approaches.  And we’re also moving into an era of  hands-on work, where a job cannot be automated or done elsewhere – these include mechanics which pay pretty well and flipping hamburgers.

Just don’t get stuck with an education bill for a hundred thousand dollars with a false expectation that you will be able to pay it off and then find out that the “job” you’d expected is now done in a different way and you’re too expensive to hire.

Here’s to your future!

John

More insight here.

First: what’s really motivating you? February 4, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business intelligence, business success, coaches, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Personal action plans, quality of life, small business coach, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Secret, women in management.
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Coaches and therapists often spend a lot of time with their clients  reviewing what happened in their pasts.  Executive and leadership coach John M McKee says there’s a better way to move forward.

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As a business success coach, I’m all about return on investment.  If someone is making an investment, they should see a solid return on their money.  Period.

Additionally, I don’t think it’s necessary for someone to spend a lot of time revisiting all their past problems before they can move ahead.

As a result of these 2 fundamental beliefs, I use a coaching process that’s very different than other approaches used by most coaches  and therapists.  Called The Four Windows Method, it is focused on getting results in the fastest way possible.

Rather than the coach simply asking a lot of questions and allowing the client to discover his or her true feelings, the Method is very proactive.  I like this approach because I think people who come to a coach are looking for answers and want to move ahead as quickly as possible.

Additionally, because my coaching practice has the profession’s best guarantee of satisfaction, I need to be sure that everyone we work with is totally satisfied with their results.  And, additionally, I know that when I personally make an investment I want to feel like I got a great return on it. I treat my clients the same way.

The keystone of The Four Windows Method is that every individual, each of us, has 3 key life roles which determine how satisfied we are with our overall life:

1. We have one part of us that gets up each day and goes out to earn a living.  That’s our professional or career manager role.  Among the motivators for this role are things like recognition, satisfaction, making a fair wage, and career success.

2. We all have another side of us which more focused on less concrete elements –  this is the personal or family role.  This aspect of an individual is focused on doing things, or being with others who replenish us.  For many people, but not by any means, all people, this is the single most important part of our life.

3. The final role played by all individuals is the financial manager role.  That’s the part of us that’s focused on making and managing money.  In this role we are attempting to ensure we have the means to do support ourselves and our loved ones while enjoying the fruits of our labor with a home,  material things like cars, or other benefits like travel and eduction.

Until you’ve uncovered how you’re doing in each of these life roles, it will be difficult to understand your motivations.  And knowing your motivations is the key first step toward making fast and long lasting progress in your life.

Here’s to your future!

john 

UPS’ Communication Tool can work for you, too January 21, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, successful meetings, The Secret, Veracity.
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Meetings got you down?  Finding it hard to keep your team up-to-date? In this blog, executive and leadership coach John M McKee shares a great idea that works for UPS where nearly all employees are outside the office.

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Got 180 seconds?

In an earlier posting I discussed a couple of ways that any meeting participant – at any level – can make that meeting more effective for themself and for the organization.  Not surprisingly, I heard from some people that they are “meeting’d out”.  They told me that with today’s smaller workforce sizes, their companies can’t afford to have meetings because there is already so little time in the day.

I get it.  It’s tough out there.  And not getting any easier.  What’s a guy/gal to do?

But how would you handle it if you moved into a company where virtually all the workforce was located outside of your head office?  And in most cases, those people weren’t even in the local office for more than minutes a day?  It’s a real situation. One that’s addressed all the time in one of the US’ more famous corporatations: UPS.

UPS has about 1/4 million drivers and package handlers. Early on, they invested in all the technology they could put their hands on to try to ensure that any and all communication made it out to their modern day delivery folks.  And they found out that the #1 rule of communication remains as true today as when it was raised back in the 1970s.  Maybe even more true.  The best communications (meaning: the most remembered, the most motivational, the ones which people talk about afterwards) are those delivered by an individual.

Every morning, and throughout the day as well, managers at “the brown company” gather workers for mandatory meetings which last approximately 180 seconds.  During that time, the staff hear about changes in process, events of the last few hours or day, new software upgrades, local information and customer complaints.  UPS says these mini meetings ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and that anything of importance is known widely and immediately.  This, of course, makes certain that any problem affecting the company is so well known by everyone that it can be addressed and dealt with more quickly and at the right level.

The UPS method and practice has sound application for every employer and manager.  It is now being implemented by office workers around the country.

If you can spare 180 seconds at your place, why not try it?

John

Cranky? It could kill your job August 12, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", anxiety, business and career coaching, business strategy, business success, career success, Coaching, Job advice, life balance, quality of life, replenishment, small business coach, stress, Tempur-Pedic, The Secret, Veracity, well being, wellness, Women.
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abc1Sleep issues often cause poor performance on the job. In this article business and executive coach John M McKee discusses 5 tactics to make you more successful.

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“I’m simply fed up!”

And, with that comment, a new client of mine started working with me last January.

He went on, saying that, “I’m already in a very pressureful business. I shouldn’t have to deal with more bureaucratic bulls*** that makes it even tougher to get my job done.  The HR department seems to feel that its job is to prevent me from hiring good people or firing the dead weight!”

He’s a temperamental senior executive, known to have a big temper.  But the organization – a midsized cable television network – puts up with his fits because he helps them to succeed.  They asked me to do some remedial coaching to try to help him act a little more “business like”: no screaming fits, no cursing, door slamming should stop. The objective was for him to at least try to act like a normal human being in meetings with his peers.

In our first meeting I could sense his frustration level.  I dealt with it head-on.  “What’s your problem?” I asked.

He started to list all the things in his life that are driving him crazy.  To be fair it was a list that would make even the most even-keeled person become unbalanced. (His wife had left him, his 401k is now a 201k after the events of last year, he was promised a big raise but then the company didn’t deliver the goods, he hurt his knee skiing and it aches all day, and he isn’t sleeping much.

That last one caught my attention.  In addition to being an executive and business coach, I am also a Wellness Adviser for Tempur-Pedic.   During my 30+ years in boardrooms and executive suites I have seen firsthand that a lack of sleep can have a major impact on one’s performance, attitude, and behavior.  It struck me that this client may be sleep deprived and that everyone may be seeing the result of that.

We discussed how long he sleeps each night, if he’s one to toss and turn, how fast he goes to sleep when his head hits the pillow, and how he feels when he gets up in the AM.

From his answers it was clear that he wasn’t getting enough quality sleep.

This makes him emotional and drives his actions and behavior.  My client didn’t need a coach to help him understand fundamentals of good management practice – he needed more sleep!

I gave him some suggestions, he put them into practice and – like magic – he’s become the “old executive” everyone knew and loved.

If you’re feeling emotional, irrational, cranky, foggy, or just plain run down; consider a few of these ideas to improve your sleep.  It may make you more effective, content, and successful:

1. Caffeine – if you have trouble sleeping, drink no more than 2 caffeinated beverages a day, none after lunch.  This includes tea by the way.  And many things we eat have caffeine – check the labels.

2. Booze – This is a trick one because it can make you sleepy and you go right to sleep without all that “noise”.  So it seems like it’s a sleep aid. But it’s not a good sleep.  Then you usually wake up still feeling tired.  Try not to drink within 4 hours of bedtime.

3.  Bed – Don’t try to save money on your bed. It’s probably one of the best investments in your personal success you can make.  If you are uncomfortable (bed is too hard, too soft, too hot, too cold, too small, too crowded, etc etc) you toss and turn, and that breaks up the important deep sleep that replenishes you.  If you need to save money on furniture buy a less expensive dining room suite.  They never get used as much as people expect anyway.

4. Environment – Your bedroom should be dark – any light can interrupt your sleep. It should be quiet – for obvious reasons. Ideally it’s a bit on the cool side – about 64 degrees.  If you have a tv in the bedroom, don’t watch it at bedtime and don’t read before you go to sleep either.  Both can stimulate your brain just when you want it quieter.  Finally, if you are prone to waking up and looking at the time, put the clock in a drawer so you can’t see it.

5. Exercise – Regular exercise helps us sleep better.  I know that it’s tough to find the time to exercise but cut back elsewhere and figure it out.  Do it in the AM or early PM, but not too close to bedtime.  Exercise will help you work out stress and clear your head too – each important for some good zzz’s.

I realize that this list may seem pretty short and that many readers will have seen similar lists.  But if your job performance is not what is needed, I strongly urge you to consider your sleep patterns. Adults need about 8 hours of sleep each night to perform a peak levels.  Anything less is going to hit you.

If you chose to ignore your sleep issues, you can always feel free to call us at our Coaching Practice here at Business Success Coach.net.  Our phone # is 720.226.9072 and we’ll be happy to work with you on other ways of improving your results.

But it’s probably going to cost you more…

Here’s to your success!

john

Vacations, Recharging, Improving July 15, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", American Dreamers, anxiety, business and career coaching, business strategy, Business Success Coach, Canada, Coaching, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Secret, Veracity, well being.
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Many people are not taking a vacation this year.  They feel that the economy or their particular situation makes time off a bad idea.  In this blog, executive and business coach John M McKee talks about his recent vacation and why it’s more important then ever to use down-time to your advantage.

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The surf wasn’t as good as hoped.  I was sitting on my surfboard with my daughter Jess about 10 yards away on hers and we were waiting for some ride-worthy waves to bear down on us.  Despite the lack of breakers at this moment, it struck me that life doesn’t get much better than this.

On vacation for a couple of weeks on Canada’s Vancouver Island, we were near a small village called Tofino.  It’s in a rainforest; known for its excellent beaches and waves.  My wife Susan, who is a great planner (and understands life’s needs better than most people), had rented us a great house near the beach for a month.  With relatives and friends staying with us over the period; it was just a great opportunity to decompress and recharge.

So I was surfing with my daughter this particular afternoon, with plans to go out for dinner as a group and then attend a concert arranged by Susan’s sister, Pam the head of the Tofino Art and Culture Festival on the Island.  The concert was a solo act by a bassoonist and turned out to be one of life’s great little surprises – we enjoyed him and the few hours we spent together.johncloseup-resized-for-veracity.jpg

Many individuals fail to recognize the genuine benefits that accrue when they take a serious vacation.  And, yes, I do realize that during this time, not everyone can afford to go out of the country for some time off.  If you’re in that situation, then take a stay-cation around the home.  The key point to remember is this – if you work hard, or are under stress from being out of work – you still need to give yourself some “time off”.  Otherwise you get stale, can become cranky, and risk depression.  Any of which are not going to do you – or anyone who’s near you – any benefit.

Recently, I was interviewed on the subject of how to take a vacation and get the most of it.  I provided some ideas and suggestions to help get away, enjoy the time off, and get back into the work mode quick when you return to the job. If you’re interested you can see it at this link:

http://hwcdn.net/n3z3d6s4/wms/tempurpedic/tempurpedic2.wmv.asx

During my time off, I also had the opportunity to go ocean kayaking with my brother-in-law, Tim Lewis, sister in-law Flo Skakum-Lewis, nephew Jeff and above mentioned daughter.  As daylight became nightfall, I was reminded that,  it’s hard to keep thinking about the job when you’re worried about dying….  But once we were back on land, we were invigorated and charged, not depleted.  That’s one of the great benefits of challenging yourself in new ways.  It sharpens the mind and the body.

If you are stalling about taking time off this year, I encourage you to move forward and do something.

Over the long haul, you’ll become a better and more successful individual because of vacations.  In the short-term it’s unlikely to hurt your career or job requirements.  More importantly, it will probably improve your performance.

Looking forward…

john