Discovering and Practicing Your Authentic Gift

This 2.5 day course (available in three modalities: Executive, Mid-Management, and Front-Line Leadership) is based on the premise that all persons in positions of leadership have a "natural" gift that is uniquely and authentically theirs.  The irony, however, is that many people in leadership positions act at being a leader, following someone else's prescription of "effective leadership." Consequently, they often miss the mark of their own authenticity and are left to wonder why they're not nearly as effective, or even as happy as they would like to be.

The book, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, will be recommended reading in preparation for this course. Ruiz suggests that every person needs to be on an intentional discovery path that affirms and confirms his/her natural gift. No one, not parents, best friends, bosses, even religion, can simply tell us  who we are, or how we are to be in life. Although the influences of parents, culture, etc., have their purpose and value, it is not until as adults we intentionally open ourselves up to the continuous curiosity of a child-like discovery process, that we arrive at the place of truly owning and practicing our authentic gift -- which the world (our colleagues, friends, etc.) will "naturally," even eagerly, welcome. When we finally say "Yes!" -- consciously and freely committing to the four  clarifying  points of personal happiness and effectiveness (as laid out in Ruiz' book) then, in all likelihood, we also will have arrived at the base of our personal most cherished and nurturing values.  As we become more comfortable traveling this "discovery path," we will see our personal leadership strengths emerge which we previously only glimpsed, i.e., intuited, or dreamed about.

The Natural Leader course is structured to be highly experiential and interactive. Each participant will be asked to engage a "discovery process" about him/herself already prior to the course, by "interviewing" trusted relatives, friends and colleagues. The feedback received will serve as valuable input for the ensuing course work. Throughout the course, personal journaling, one-on-one, small-group, and plenary conversation built progressively around the "Four Agreements" will deepen insights and convictions about each participant's authentic strengths and leadership "gift."

The final segment of the course facilitates a conscientious alignment of  participants' authentic leadership gifts to their company's cherished core values, beliefs, and operational principles. The course, e.g.,  could be scheduled to begin on a Thursday morning and finish by Saturday noon.



The ‘Magic’ of Effective  Management

This more generalized workshop on leadership focuses on the distinction between "management" in the traditional sense (too often based inadvertently on intimidation and, consequently, bereft of imagination) and genuine "leadership," that brims with creativity and imagination!  21st century leadership will be grossly  ineffective if its modus operandi depends largely on worn-out tools of traditional management.  Key roles of effective leadership are: being: a) Visionary, b) Educator (facilitator/coach) and c) Servant (serving the needs of those who are led). The wellspring of this workshop is grounded in the ancient, classic principles of the Tao Te Ching.

Workshop participants will learn to identify and apply the characteristics of the truly "present" leader who orients and empowers his/her colleagues with vision, strategy alignment, personal initiative and commitment, risk-taking, focus, and inspiration  -- uniquely capitalizing on the "emotional energy/intelligence" of their co-workers.

Without mastering these special talents managers stand a good chance of simply sliding into the role of "taskmasters" of a given area which all too quickly results in wasted energy in the workplace, myopic, unfulfilling service to the customer, and depleted revenues to the company.



(4 - 6 hours)

The "team/partnering" approach is a distinctive style of working which aims to unify the collective talent and energy of people around mutual tasks or joint responsibilities infused by a strong, shared "belief system." Successful teamwork achieves highly synergistic results affecting the company, the department, the individual employee, and ultimately, the customer.

This workshop makes use of the three key components that comprise team synergy: the Challenge (the vision or goal) the Catalyst ( the manager, or "coach,")  and the Team (a cluster of committed, diversely talented individuals).

A major portion of the workshop emphasizes motivation and reinforcement measures that promote increased effectiveness and quality work-life. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Identify and relate to the five stages of Maslow's motivational pyramid and apply core elements of employee motivation for desired results
  • Apply positive reinforcement measures to all their co-workers
  • Identify the strengths and shortcomings of key subordinates, build on this knowledge, and learn how to capitalize on both in “win-win” solutions, and when to delegate, evaluate delegation effectiveness and reward performance.



(4 hours)

A customer-driven company needs exceptional leaders who spend more time communicating  than practically anything else, communicating to keep all reaching toward the same vision, values and goals. Excellent communication can aptly be regarded as an art that only gets better as it is consciously and consistently applied. This art includes:
  1. "owning," i.e., clearly formulating and transmitting what needs to be communicated
  2. developing listening skills ("passive," "active," and "reflective")
  3. giving and soliciting feedback.

Communicating effectively in the team context will be the special focus of this workshop. As a result of this workshop participants will be able to:
  • identify individual steps necessary for effective communication at all levels, setting these steps into consistent, habitual practice
  • identify and effectively practice listening skills under all conditions, assuring quality communication every time
  • deliver consistent constructive criticism.



(4 hours)

"Moments of truth" are those short, everyday encounters between "frontline" employee and the customer, whereby the customer instantaneously forms a fundamental impression of the company's quality and effectiveness in meeting his or her needs. This workshop will enable managers to guide their employees in identifying and applying the critical moments of truth. The fundamental message of this workshop focuses around the Greek concept of time, Kairos: "the fullness of time, being inside the moment." For the employee, these moments of truth become more meaningful if they bear relevancy to the company's articulated values and principles. Once identified, endowed with meaning, and consistently applied, these "moments of truth" can become a powerful means in delivering distinct, pleasurable service the customer will long cherish.



(8 hours)

A key characteristic of deluxe hotels, resorts and spas is the conscious promotion and “modeling” of human wellness. Yet, ironically, stress seems to pervade behind the scenes of too many fine hospitality establishments.

This workshop identifies and addresses the variety of "stressors" and "stabilizers" affecting participants in their private as well as professional lives. Participants learn how their stressors trigger the central nervous system, and how, through a variety of easy, applicable means they can manage stress reduction and general wellness for themselves and others. The concept of wellness, as well as personal "wholeness" becomes clear after the participants look at and apply its four "Keys:" Awareness, Responsibility, Balance, and Adaptation.  

This workshop shows participants how they can immediately increase wellness for themselves as well as their hospitable work environment, which ultimately gets reflected in the quality of service. Critical factors such as practical steps to nutrition, exercise, rest, budgeting (time and money), preventative medical self-care, secrets of healthy longevity, discovering "meaning," i.e., purpose in one's life and particularly the workplace, etc. are given particular attention. Momentary as well as deep relaxation skills are experienced during the workshop. At the session's conclusion each participant will be presented a 20-minute audio CD for personal, regular post-workshop "autogenic" training in deep relaxation, initially experienced during the workshop.



(1.5 days)

The best way to determine whether or not to hire a job applicant is to discover not only if the applicant has the right credentials, looks and manner, but if the applicant's past performance (actions) in "typical situations" complement the company's culture and the job's desired results. The premise for this seminar is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. This workshop introduces managers to the skills of behavioral interviewing: its superior advantages to the manager and company (increased efficiency and staff morale, dramatic reduction in employee turnover, etc.),  identifying critical job dimensions necessary for performance excellence, designing behavioral questions based on those job dimensions,  mastering interviewing skills, measuring responses, and selecting the "right" employees. The extended portion (last four hours) of the workshop is committed to  participants engaging  in simulated performance interviews and evaluating the results.



(4 hours)

Unfortunately, it's a fact. Performance "Appraisals" are generally regarded as a "nuisance." They tend to be avoided, or at best, held off as long as possible. Through this excellent introduction and training program however, performance reviews become a tremendous instrument for: increased job competency development, personal and professional advancement, improved employee morale, and increased bottom-line savings to the company. This workshop focuses on quality improvement (hence, "Quality Reviews") as the main objective for reviewing performance. Its emphasis  is on the positives, i.e.the  promise or potential each employee has and is willing to build on. Managers and supervisors learn to engage in a "partnering" mode with the person being reviewed, namely, fostering trust and respect in their efforts to achieve the utmost in quality, building on strengths by jointly establishing performance standards, setting goals and measurement criteria, giving constructive feedback and on-going coaching. The workshop concludes by equipping participants with helpful guidelines in both giving performance reviews, as well as receiving  them!