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November 2010

FREE Live Workshop in NYC: 7 Qualities of the Leader As Coach -- Secrets to Leading in the Inspiration Age

FREE Live Workshop!

WHEN:  Friday, November 5, 2010

WHERE:  New York City

7 Qualities of the Leader As Coach -- Secrets to Leading in the Inspiration Age

The best leaders today use the coach approach to build high performing teams because it’s the most effective way to leverage the strengths of the team.

People who work with a Coach Leader are more creative, have higher job satisfaction, are more productive, and are more likely to become strong leaders themselves.

In order for you and your organization to thrive you must learn how to lead using coaching skills.

In this fun and interactive workshop you'll learn how to make the shift to a new model of leadership based on inspiration, abundance and personal responsibility.

This live workshop is based on the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program, a 7-week distance learning leadership development program developed by the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators.

About the Presenter

This session is being led by Tom Heck, President and Founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators (IATF). Tom is a veteran of the team and leadership development field and has trained leaders and Teamwork Facilitators from North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Central & South America, and Australasia. The tools he’s developed (books, multimedia training CDs, teambuilding activities, audio programs, etc.) are used by managers, supervisors, facilitators, trainers and coaches to transform teams around the world.

How to Register

This event is open to the public and is made possible by the New York City Outward Bound School

To register for this event (it's free) contact Badari Ambatti, Program Manager at the NYC Outward Bound School Office:  

email    [email protected]

phone   (718) 706 9900  Ext.125

Who Should Attend?

Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders, Trainers, Facilitators, Coaches, Educators

This event is perfect for anyone who wants to inspire their team (not just motivate them).

Learn proven strategies, tactics and tools for building and leading inspired, high performing teams using the coach approach.

Event Details

WHEN:  Friday, November 5, 2010

TIME:  10 AM -- 12:30 PM EST (New York City time zone)

LOCATION:  NYC Outward Bound School Office
                    29-46 Northern Boulevard
                    Long Island City, NY 11101

Netflix CEO shares secrets for running a successful company

What is your company vacation policy?

Netflix's vacation policy:  Take what you need while getting your job done.

What is your company travel and expense policy?

The travel and expense policy at Netflix is five words long: "act in Netflix's best interests."

Do these Netflix policies sound crazy?  They wouldn't work for most organizations because most organizations aren't managed like Netflix.

The CEO of Netflix is Reed Hastings and he shares his company's "secret sauce" in this must read slide deck (below).

From what I gather from the slide deck, it looks like Hastings management team has adopted the Leader As Coach operating system.

Newsletter of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators -- October 2010


Tom_heck_120Hello Teamwork Facilitators!  It's Tom Heck, President & Founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators, with your October 2010 teamwork ideas e-newsletter.

Here at the IATF we offer lots of TeleSeminars because it's a powerful and effective way to help people learn new ideas quickly and easily.  When you participate in an IATF TeleSeminar you get to engage with our guest speaker (ask questions, interact, etc.).  In this newsletter you can get immediate access to two great TeleSeminar recordings (nonmembers get access for the next 24 hours only).  Be sure to register for next week's TeleSeminar on "Gamestorming". 

Earlier this year I was a guest panelist at the Nonprofit Technology Network conference in Atlanta.  The topic was all about working with and leading Virtual Teams.  The full video of this presentation is now available for FREE (link below).

One of my favorite Team Theory articles below is "The Universe Rewards Action, Not Thought".  I'd love to hear what you think of this.

Thank you for the opportunity to support the good work you're doing.

Tom Heck
President & Founder
International Association of Teamwork Facilitators
[email protected]
office (828) 348-4677

Upcoming TeleSeminars

How Games At Work Inspire Creativity
with special guest Dave Gray, author of Gamestorming - A Playbook for Innovators, Rule Breakers, and Changemakers
October 21, 2010 at 1pm EST
CLICK HERE to register.  FREE

Member Buzz Roundup

The IATF community is AMAZING.  Check out what some of our members are up to: 

  • Dr. Relly Nadler's new book Leading With Emotional Intelligence.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Debora McLaughlin and her new Real World Leader's Institute.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Paul Limoges the AEE Exec shares his secret insights. CLICK HERE for more.
  • Adam Lybarger joins Lodestone Adventures as a facilitator.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Aric Bostick stops the bullying.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Dianne Crampton launches Waffeling to Winning.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Ray Reuter brings spirituality to the workplace.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Mike Cardus has a game to address conflict.  CLICK HERE for more.



  • Are You Charging Enough? Pricing Strategies for the New Economy CLICK HERE
    • NOTE:  This audio recording  available to nonmembers for 24 hours only.  Includes a significant discount coupon.
  • Happiness & Teamwork  CLICK HERE
    • NOTE:  This audio recording available to nonmembers for 24 hours only.
  • Secrets of Social Media  CLICK HERE 

Leadership Theory

  • The Universe Rewards Action, Not Thought  CLICK HERE
  • Tips on Boosting Workplace Happiness  CLICK HERE
  • The Trouble With Teamwork  CLICK HERE
  • To Evoke The Best From Others On Your Team  CLICK HERE
  • The Value of Play at Work  CLICK HERE
  • 6 Coaching Questions to Ask Your Direct Reports  CLICK HERE




How Games At Work Inspire Creativity with special guest Dave Gray -- Recorded Leadership TeleSeminar

Great things don’t happen in a vacuum. But creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen at your company? The answer may surprise you: gamestorming.

Learn how to apply game thinking to your business challenges in this TeleSeminar with the author!

Gamestorming_book_cover Think back to the last time you played a game. What was the game? Why did you choose to play? Was it a simple game like tic-tac-toe, or something more complex, like Monopoly, Scrabble or Chess? Or maybe it was a game of basketball? Did you play with friends? With family? Try to recapture the feeling you had as you played the game. How did it feel? Would you like to have more of that feeling at work?

Games come naturally to human beings. Playing a game is a way of exploring the world, a form of structured play, a natural learning activity that’s deeply tied to growth. Games can be fun and entertaining, but games can have practical benefits too.

In this TeleSeminar you'll learn how to design games to help you get more innovative, creative results in your work.

About the book "GAMESTORMING"

This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. The authors have identified tools and techniques from some of the world’s most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great things happen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace.

Here's what GAMESTORMING can do for your team:

  • Overcome conflict and increase engagement with team-oriented games
  • Improve collaboration and communication in cross-disciplinary teams with visual-thinking techniques
  • Improve understanding by role-playing customer and user experiences
  • Generate better ideas and more of them, faster than ever before
  • Shorten meetings and make them more productive
  • Simulate and explore complex systems, interactions, and dynamics
  • Identify a problem’s root cause, and find the paths that point toward a solution

One common review of the book:

…one of the most valuable and applicable collection of tools and techniques for organizational design that I have ever come across. The "games" outlined in the book help you make ideas more tangible and meetings more productive, notably through visual techniques. Gamestorming is a window into the future of how groups will work. There is no way around this book if you are serious about making innovation and change happen in your organization.

Our guest for this special TeleSeminar
is Dave Gray is the coauthor of GAMESTORMING and the founder and chairman of XPLANE Corp., an information design consultancy serving Fortune 100, NGO and government clients around the world, and co-founder of Vizthink, a global community dedicated to the use of visualization in all forms of learning and communication. An artist, journalist and information designer, he is passionate about applied creativity.


Call Details


 Gamestorming -- How Games At Work Inspire Creativity


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
runs for 70 minutes


Dave Gray, author of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Tom Heck, President & Founder of the IATF


Come to the call ready to participate in small group discussions, share ideas and resources, ask questions, answer quick polls, and be fully engaged as we put the newest distance learning telephone conferencing technology to use!


This leadership TeleSeminar was recorded and is now archived in the IATF Members Only Area. Not yet a member of the IATF?  Please join! Membership information is HERE.


CLICK HERE to register.  It's free!  After you register, we'll send you the secret phone number and "PIN".  Registration is closed.

Watch this video (below) of Dave talking about GAMESTORMING at UX Week in San Francisco


Watch this video (below) of Dave presenting an IGNITE session on GAMESTORMING

IATF Member Buzz Roundup for October 2010

IATF members are actively working to grow, train and lead inspired teams worldwide.  Here's what some of our members are up to...

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Relly Nadler has a new book, Leading with Emotional Intelligence: Hands-On Strategies for Confident and Collaborative Star Performers. Get $99 of bonuses when you order now, includes 3 podcasts from Relly’s Internet Radio show. It has 108 strategies, tools and checklists in Emotional Self-Control, Confidence, Teamwork, Developing Others, Empathy and Communication. Go to iTunes under podcasts and enter "Leadership Development News" and you can download over 150 FREE podcasts.  Relly will be doing a live coaching demonstration at the ICF International Conference on October 28th in Fort Worth Texas, called 3 Coaches and one client.

Real World Leaders

Debora McLaughlin, CEO of Open Door Coaching, IATF member, co-author of Blueprint for Success with Stephen R. Covey has launched the Real World Leader's Institute. The Institute offers a hybrid model of retreat events, webinar trainings and ongoing executive coaching for all participants. Training includes coaching competencies, emotional intelligence, diversity appreciation and leadership development.

AEE Exec Shares Insights

Paul Limoges, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Experiential Education, is leading a session entitled "Meet the President and CEO" at the AEE international conference.  This conference will give Paul an opportunity to share several insights he has gained since becoming AEE's Chief Executive Officer in 2008.  Learn more about this event HERE

New Adventure

Adam Lybarger recently joined Lodestone Adventures based in Big Bear Lake, CA, as a facilitator.  Lodestone Adventures specializes in corporate team building, corporate development, leadership development and adventure training programs.  Lodestone Adventures also offers outdoor education, adventure and environmental education and travel programs to youth groups, church camps, and other non-profit organizations.  Adam is very excited to be a part of the Lodestone team and to have the opportunity to work with many different groups and types of programs.

How To Stop Bullying

Aric Bostick, the # 1 motivational speaker for teens and teachers, will be speaking at five school districts in Texas this month and will reach over 5,000 teens with his message about how to stop bullying.  Aric challenges students to be heroes on their campus  by inspiring them to live their dreams and helping other students live theirs.  Aric's presentation is high energy and interactive. Last month Aric spoke to 400 students in Arkansas at a Tobacco Teen Summit. This speech put Aric in his 34th state to speak in, he has now spoken to over 500,000 students across the country!  Go Aric!

Waffling to Winning

Dianne Crampton at Tigers Success Series will be offering a course for business owners and business executives entitled "Waffeling to Winning -- 5 Simple and Common Sense Strategies That Guide Waffling Teams Out Of Conflict and Confusion to Produce On Target Winning Results". Dianne is offering interested partners the opportunity to participate in an affiliate program.  Contact Tina for details.

Spirituality and the Workplace

Ray Reuter of Kaizen is launching a new group business coaching initiative called KINGDOMablaze.  KINGDOMablaze is an in-depth business coaching program for entrepreneurs, business owners, and business professionals who are stuck trying to figure things out all by themselves and struggling to live out their spirituality.One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs, business owners, and business professionals face today is living spiritually in all aspects of their day. Ray's new program provides a solution.

New Conflict Game

Mike Cardus of has a great teambuilding activity appearing in Michelle Cummings new book "Setting the Conflict Compass" which is available now. Mike's activity is called Bright|Blurry|Blind and appears along side so many other amazing conflict facilitation methods.

Working With A Virtual Team -- Free Video Training

Here's the full video (1 hr 13 min) of the panel presentation I was on at the spring 2010 conference of (the Nonprofit Technology Network).

Virtual workplaces are fast becoming commonplace. Shrinking carbon footprints, worker satisfaction and increased productivity are all good for employers (and arguably the planet), but what does it mean for you? How do you get someone’s attention when there’s no door to bang on? How can you trust someone you can’t see or manage in person? How can you enjoy the process and find satisfaction in the result?


  1. Strategies for establishing clear communications
  2. Strategies for evaluating virtual vendors
  3. Resources for working virtually
  4. Three things to avoid that will absolutely doom your project

The panel was lead by Ian Rhett (CivicActions), Jenn Sramek (CivicActions) and Tom Heck (International Association of Teamwork Facilitators).

Learn how to lead a virtual team at the IATF Virtual Team Leader virtual training program.

6 Coaching Questions to Ask Your Direct Reports

QUESTION:  What is the # 1 area that leaders consistently score lowest in during a 360 degree feedback assessment?

ANSWER:  "provides effective coaching when needed"

Why do leaders (especially executives) rate so poorly when it comes to coaching?

  1. Knowledge Worker Syndrome -- A "knowledge worker" is, by definition, someone who knows more about what they are doing then their boss does."  How do you coach someone who knows more than you do?
  2. Too Busy -- Leaders are too busy to sit down and coach someone.
  3. Fear of Alienation -- Leaders are worried that they'll coach poorly (or the wrong way) and their direct report will think less of them.

SOLUTION: The Six Question Process developed by Marshall Goldsmith, executive advisor and best-selling author.

Executives who use The Six-Question Process almost always get dramatically higher scores from direct reports.  It's simple and it's fast, easy to implement.

Learn more about the Leader As Coach HERE.

The Value of Play at Work

Over at Presentation Zen, Garr Reynold's awesome blog, there is a GREAT post about the value of play at work. 

Garr shares a fascinating TED video of Tim Brown CEO of Ideo.  In the video you'll see Brown engage the TED audience with experiential learning activities (i.e. games). 

Best of all Garr provides a great summary of the lessons Brown shares in the video (thank you Garr!).

CLICK HERE to view the video and read Garr's summary.

I'm a big believer in using playful activities ("teambuilding games") to fully engage a group and to deepen the learning experience.  It's great to see the CEO of Ideo explain the value of learning through play.

The Power of Experiential Learning -- lessons from Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins produced a series of reality TV shows that were broadcast during the summer of 2010.  There were six episodes but only two were broadcast on TV with the remaining four episodes available online.

The series was called "Breakthrough with Tony Robbins" and the reviews were not so great and the viewer numbers were not high enough for NBC so the show went to the web.

I loved the shows and one of the reasons was because of how Tony integrated experiential learning into each program.  Each episode actually revolved around the experiential learning opportunities.

In an interview Robbins explains why experiential learning is so powerful.

"But if I can get you to experience something you think is impossible that destroys the old belief system, because the belief system is a weak substitute for life experience. I can believe what it’s like to be in China but if I can go to China I have an experience."

"And so what I try to do here with all these people is give them some experiences that cause them to see what they thought was impossible is possible, create that opening and to get them to act on that moment to do something to kind of lock it in place."

I'm a big believer in experiential learning and I teach experientially every chance I get - - with the groups I serve, with my one-on-one coaching clients, and with my children.  Have you seen some of the experiential activities I like to use HERE?

By teaching experientially we help the student experience the learning at a deep level.  Experiential learning engages the mind and the HEART.  People move beyond "beliefs" to a deep "knowing".

The job of the Teamwork Facilitator (coach, manager, supervisor, executive, parent) is to create opportunities for growth and expansion.  Our job is to help people remember who they are and what they are truly capable of:  GREATNESS.  Teaching experientially helps people get their faster and in a way that sticks.

Here is the 43 minute video of one of my favorite episodes from Breakthrough with Tony Robbins.  Watch how Robbins masterfully uses experiential learning to create openings for growth and transformation.

NOTE:  The video is provided through and that site says the Robbins video may be removed at some point in the future (so watch now).

The Universe Rewards Action, Not Thought -- lessons from a game

Russell Bishop, an Executive Coach and Performance Improvement Consultant relates a wonderful lesson he gained by playing a game at a workshop 40 years ago.

LESSON:  The Universe Rewards Action, Not Thought

Bishop explains the game setup...

The puzzle in front of us required a combination of creative thinking and creative action. The exercise was set up so that other participants could provide feedback about problem solving moves but weren't allowed to talk. They could provide feedback in the form of positive encouragement, in this case, applause, when I actually picked up and moved one of the puzzle pieces and did so in a way that indicated a "directionally correct" move.

In this particular puzzle, there were dozens and dozens of possible moves, but only a handful which would lead to a solution -- moves which were directionally correct. I spent a great deal of time thinking about possible solutions while my feedback mechanism, other participants whom the seminar leader referred to as "my universe," remained observant and completely quiet. Absent of action on my part, they had nothing to reward, no feedback to provide.

CLICK HERE to read the entire story (it's great!).

The biggest problem I see with team and leadership development programs is that participants are not held accountable for taking action on a regular basis.

I've discovered that it is ACTION, taking on a regular basis, that distinquishes the true leaders.  Far too many people are satified with enrolling in training and then sitting there passively, not taking any action.  Distance learning is the worst for this because it's so easy to be passive.

I've been teaching the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program since 2008 and I've learned that participants are way more likely to take action when the following is in place:

  1. Public declaration (promise) to the learning community to take action weekly (we call it "playing full out").
  2. Reporting weekly to an assigned study partner.
  3. Reporting weekly to a supervisor at work (or to an official accountability partner).
  4. Completing weekly progress notes which are read by your study partner and the instructor.
  5. One-on-one coaching weekly as needed (personal attention from instructor).
  6. Taking on a "Key Project" to be completed during the program.  This project requires the participant to stretch and grow.  Updates are provided weekly to the instructor, class, study partner, and supervisor.
  7. Instructor communicates weekly with the participant's supervisor, providing updates and answering any questions.

Taking action on a consistent basis is way more likely to happen when the above elements are in place.  When people take consistent action the results are often remarkable. 

How are you supporting those you serve to take action on a consistent basis?

Tips on Boosting Workplace Happiness from Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a NY Times bestseller and in this article she offersHappy_workplace  some great tips for leaders who want to boost workplace happiness.

The questions Gretchen addresses are:

Q: Why should employers take steps to help make their employees happy?

Q: Why do happy people do better at work?

Q: Is there any correlation between happiness and qualities related to things like leadership, or innovative thinking?

Q: What’s the bottom line on happiness vs. unhappiness for a business?

Q: How specifically can employers help make their employees happier?

CLICK HERE for the full article AND the answers!


The Trouble With Teamwork

Patrick Lencioni is one of my favorite business writers.  In his article "The Trouble With Teamwork" found at the Leader To Leader Institute Lencioni shares some valuable insights on how to decide if teamwork is right for your staff / group.

So how do well-intentioned leaders go about deciding if teamwork is right for their staffs? They can start by recognizing that organizational structure is not nearly as important as behavioral willingness.

Most theorists will call for teamwork in organizations that are structured functionally, but may not do so for those that are organized divisionally or geographically.

In other words, if the work can be organized in departments that operate largely independently (with regional territories, distinct product divisions, or separate subsidiaries), then the executives at the top can follow suit and function as what Jon Katzenbach, author of The Wisdom of Teams, describes as “working units.”These are groups made up of individuals who, though friendly and cooperative at times, are not expected to make willing sacrifices to one another to achieve common goals that lead to joint rewards.

However, when executives run an organization that is made up of departments that have structural interdependencies, teamwork is usually presented as the only possible approach for the leadership group. But although this is a sound and reasonable theory when all other factors are considered equal, it is not necessarily advisable in the messy and fallible world of real human beings. Before deciding that teamwork is the answer, ask these questions of yourself and your fellow team members.

  • Can we keep our egos in check?
  • Are we capable of admitting to mistakes,weaknesses, insuffi- cient knowledge? • Can we speak up openly when we disagree?
  • Will we confront behavioral problems directly?
  • Can we put the success of the team or organization over our own?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is “probably not,” then a group of executives should think twice about declaring themselves a team.Why? Because more than structure, it is the willingness of executives to change behavior —starting with the leader of the organization—that should determine whether teamwork is the right answer.