Archives for April 2014

Hugh’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom

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The Thinker

If you want feedback as to how you’ve performed or handled an issue, only ask for feedback from someone you trust and respect. There are far too many people who are willing to give you feedback; oftentimes unsolicited feedback, that don’t know you, are not an expert in your field or industry and who are more interested in hearing the sound of their own voice than they are of helping you. Feedback from this person should be eschewed at all costs. And with all feedback, if it doesn’t apply, let it fly.

The 3 areas where leaders need corrected vision

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MMM 04-28-2014 from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Video Notes:

Ladies and gentlemen I want to talk about corrected vision. I wear glasses in order to see clearly. I don’t need glasses for distance but I do need them for up close. If I want to read my watch or a book I need my glasses. Without them I cannot see clearly.

I’m going to suggest that there are three areas in your professional life and or in your organization where corrected vision and or greater clarity can be instrumental.

1. The first area is to have corrected vision and to see clearly how others perceive your desired state; your vision, mission and purpose.

2. The second place where corrected vision is needed is understanding the current state of affairs. What circumstances created the current state and how did you arrived there?

3. The third area where corrected vision and getting clear is beneficial is understanding what new perspectives and or thinking will be required to move from the current state to the desired state.

If you correct your vision and get clear in these three areas you will have a much more effective work week.

I hope you have a fabulous week and I will see you here again next week.

The 3 areas of your professional life where you must be clear

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The 3 areas of your professional life where you must be clear from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

The 7 steps of learning a new skill

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Swimming Lessons

The process of learning a new skill is as much mental as it is physical. Take swimming for example. Knowing how to hold your hands and kick your feet is the physical side of learning to swim. Keeping your head underwater while not feeling as though you are going to drown is the mental side of learning to swim.

In my coaching and consulting work what I’ve found is that people have a greater difficultly with the mental aspects of learning a new skill as opposed to the physical aspect. Whether learning to lead, become a high-performing team member or giving feedback, having a process allows us to not only learn the new skill, but to master it.

If you have something you want to learn, here are my 7 steps for doing so:

1. Find an exemplar: An exemplar is someone you respect, admire and who is really good at what you want to learn to do. This can be a coach, a consultant or mentor within your organization. The key is to not reinvent the wheel. Find someone who is exceptionally good at what you want to learn and who has the disposition to help others learn the skill they have.

2. Observe the person in action: Be curious about what your exemplar does as well as what they don’t do. Observe them and take mental pictures of what you see. Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, observing your exemplar creates an impression of what the skill looks like when performed well.

3. Interview the person: Whenever possible, ask your exemplar what makes them successful. What are they thinking, what is their frame of reference and what do they believe makes them successful? Since learning a new skill has a mental component, learn as much as you can about their mental frame of mind.

4. Focus on progress not perfection: Learning a new skill requires that you accept not being good at the skill at first. What’s required is isolating two or three things to practice, and practice time must be viewed as a time when you will get dirty and may even look foolish. Being willing to practice without a preoccupation on looking good or getting things right is what makes your practice time valuable.

5. Ask for feedback: Ask for specific feedback, and if and whenever possible, videotape yourself performing the skill. Seeing yourself on video accelerates your learning exponentially.

6. Follow the rule of 72: When you learn something new, the potential for you to master the skill and use it effectively happens when you take action within 72 hours of learning something new. When you don’t take action within 72 hours the potential for you to be effective drops precipitously. Having a bias for taking action immediately is essential for learning new skills.

7. Rinse and repeat: The process of observing, interviewing, practicing, learning and acting, when done repeatedly leads to learning a new skill.

How solitude will improve your leadership

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How solitude will improve your leadership from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Video Notes:

Good morning, my name is Hugh Blane and this is the Monday Morning Minute.

Today I want talk to you about solitude. The majority of people watching work in a culture where you are being asked to do more; and do it better, faster and cheaper. And the word that’s over my right shoulder, the word solitude, is foreign to a lot of leaders I work with.

Solitude is very important to your individual effectiveness and you organizational performance. I believe it is time to put away your smartphone, your iPad and push away from your computer and what is the busyness of your world of work. It is time to have a different and deeper conversation about the world of work. Let me suggest one question for you to contemplate. If you were guaranteed the next two years of your professional life would be exactly the same as your last two years, would you sign up for that? If you would, why? If not, why not? What would need to change?

Ladies and gentleman, you cannot answer that question while in the middle of your everyday busy work-life. You need solitude and or quiet time in order to answer that question.

If you do take time you will have a much more rewarding and enriching professional life. That is the Monday morning I hope you have a fabulous week. I’ll see you here next week.

Hugh Blane’s Leadership Accelerator: 30 Days of Personalized Leadership and Influence Coaching

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Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo and MaxProImages

I’ve heard repeatedly from clients that having a shorter-term / accelerated program of leadership and influence coaching would be valuable. To that end, I’m pleased to announce that my Leadership Accelerator Coaching Program is now available. Here’s an overview of what’s involved.

Do you want to experience unparalleled influence in your organization? Do you want your leadership to accelerate business results within your team and organization? If you do, my 30-day Leadership Accelerator coaching program is right for you.

This is the most compact and accelerated leadership development process I offer. It is high-intensity one-on-one coaching with me and is structured for executives who want to dramatically accelerate their leadership effectiveness. It is, essentially, a 30-day version of my highly effective Pulling Out The Stops coaching program.

Here’s what you can expect:
1. A white-hot focus on your organizational presence so intense that within 30 days you’re the person people follow because they want to, not because they have to.
2. A rigorous investigation as to the value of your leadership and the best ways to communicate your leadership value.
3. Breakthrough thinking so powerful, you’ll take ordinary obstacles and convert them into extraordinary opportunities.
4. An unparalleled influencing process that moves adversaries into allies.
5. A relentless pursuit for converting your human potential into accelerated business results.

At the end of 30 days:
1. You’ll experience greater levels of buy-in to superlative performance.
2. You’ll be known as a strategic business partner whose opinion is indispensible.
3. You’ll have inspired confidence, built trust and earned respect.
4. You’ll eliminate disempowering and unproductive performance roadblocks independent of the available resources.
5. You’ll increase the level of innovation and growth within your team.

The programs structure:
1. Access to me by phone and email throughout the 30 days for anything you may be dealing with.
2. A course of pragmatic and tactical action steps for the next 30 days.
3. A scheduled phone or video-call every week to discuss your progress as well as your developmental plan.
4. You will create four weekly breakthrough leadership plans that I will review and provide recommendations for improvement.
5. We’ll work together to overcome any obstacles you’ll encounter

What kind of issues do people choose to address in this program?
1. Powerfully articulating their leadership purpose.
2. Making promises that matter most to their key stakeholders.
3. Prioritizing their calendars for maximum effectiveness.
4. Personifying their leadership purpose.
5. Eliminating the negative drag on their performance while accelerating the positive aspects of their leadership.
6. Creating and cultivating a breakthrough leadership mindset.
7. Remaining positive in times of adversity.
8. Convincingly articulating their value.
9. Preparing for and overcoming obstacles.
10. Living a more rewarding and enriching professional and personal life.

Investment: Your cost for this intensive month-long Breakthrough Leadership Accelerator program is just $1,695

Accelerated Savings:
At the conclusion of the 30 days, we’ll assess your progress and design your next steps. To accelerate your momentum and guarantee your continued success, I will apply 100% of your investment in this program toward my six-month Pulling Out The Stops Program.

The one stipulation? You must notify me within two weeks of the conclusion of this program of your decision to accelerate your momentum. If you do, you will save 16% on my Guided Mentoring coaching program.

If you’re looking for a no nonsense, hard-hitting and a no-holds-barred leadership development program, look no further.

To find out if this program is right for you, call me at 206.829.9413 or email me at