From Wimpy to Edgy: 10 observations to help you become a stronger teamwork coach

The most powerful way to build and lead teams is through a "Coach Approach".

Some mistakenly believe coaching is, by default, wimpy. Yes, there are a lot of wimpy coaches (leaders) however, one of the most common requests from team members is for a strong coach (strong leader).

But what does it mean to be "strong"?

The answer can be found by exploring the difference between "Wimpy" and "Edgy".

Leader Coaches can be experienced and highly skilled and STILL be wimpy. 

At the IATF, we prefer Leader Coaches who have "the Edge". 

I’ve never met a very successful Leader Coach who doesn’t have this Edge.

Andrea Lee has re-posted a great description of the Edge which was originally written by Thomas Leonard - - read it HERE

Learn how to become a Leader Coach with the Edge HERE.

"DRIVE - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" with best selling author Dan Pink -- Leadership TeleSeminar Recording

Motivation by Carrot & Stick

Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money and threats (of losing money or a job, etc.) — it's motivation by carrot-and-stick.

Only one problem with the carrot-and-stick method of motivation.

It's completely outdated and no longer works.

Dan_pink_1That's what Dan Pink says in his provocative new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Dan exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life.

 Dan demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s  challenges.

Drive_coverIn DRIVE, Dan examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose—and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.

Check out the 18-minute video [below] of Dan presenting at TED.  You'll gain some new insights for becoming a more effective team leader.

In this interactive TeleSeminar we'll explore the impact of these lessons on TEAMS.  You'll also get to ask Dan some questions yourself!

"Pink's ideas deserve a wide hearing. Corporate boards, in fact, could do well by kicking out their pay consultants for an hour and reading Pink's conclusions instead."
- Forbes

"Fascinating . . . If Pink's proselytizing helps persuade employers to make work more fulfilling, Drive will be a powerhouse."
- USA Today

Call Details


DRIVE - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


Friday February 26, 2010


Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
runs for 60-75 minutes


  • author Dan Pink
  • 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 call was recorded and is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.


CLICK HERE to register.  It's free.  Registration is closed

The Disposable Worker

Pay is falling, benefits are vanishing, and no one's job is secure. How companies are making the era of the temp more than temporary.

Business Week has a great article HERE about how companies are working with temps.

The forecast for the next five to 10 years: paltry pay gains, worsening working conditions, and little job security.

More jobs will be freelance and temporary, and even seemingly permanent positions will be at greater risk.

"When I hear people talk about temp vs. permanent jobs, I laugh," says Barry Asin, chief analyst at the Los Altos (Calif.) labor-analysis firm Staffing Industry Analysts. "The idea that any job is permanent has been well proven not to be true."

As Kelly Services (KELYA) CEO Carl Camden puts it: "We're all temps now."

Are you a manager or supervisor faced with leading a workforce made up partially or fully of temps?  If yes, then the best leadership "operating system" you can use is that of Leader As Coach.

Seth Godin says "Control is a losing strategy"

Seth Godin says "Control is a losing strategy."
Is there any doubt that the world is going to go faster, not slower?

Any doubt that non-state actors are going to have more influence on world affairs than ever before?

Any doubt that technology will continue pushing us along a slippery slope where control is not a winning strategy?

Control might be the goal of a typical politician, but the future belongs to linchpins, individuals with leverage, people willing to make a difference and do work that matters.

Read the article HERE.

So if you're in agreement with Seth, then what IS the best way to lead?  How about as a Leader Coach?

Can fun change behavior?

For centuries small groups of people have tried to figure out ways to influence the masses. 

Dan Pink's new book DRIVE - The surprising truth about what motivates us suggests that everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong.

Turns out, one of the most effective and uplifting ways to influence behavior is through fun.  Watch the video clip below for an example.  CLICK HERE for more examples.

Fun, when used with a purpose, is a POWERFUL motivator. 

How are you using FUN to influence, uplift, and direct your team?

How To Be Inspired and Inspiring – Everywhere, With Everyone, All The Time - with IATF Visiting Faculty Member Dr. Lance Secretan -- Leadership Skills TeleSeminar

As a leader, do you understand the difference between Motivation and Inspiration?

Your understanding of the difference between these two concepts is an indicator of the degree to which you and your team will experience success.

Clearly, the world needs more Inspirational leaders.

And how does one become an Inspirational leader?  What is the path?  Where is the path?

Lance_secretan These questions are best answered by Dr. Lance Secretan, author of nine books, adviser to leaders, keynote speaker, and a recipient of the International Caring Award.

In this TeleSeminar, Dr. Secretan shares insights from his upcoming book "The Spark, The Flame and the Torch - How to be inspired and inspiring – everywhere, with everyone, all the time".

  • The Spark – Knowing Who We Are: The Why-Be-Do; 5 Dynamics, Having ONE Dream
  • The Flame – Living Higher Values : Practicing the CASTLE Principles; The Metaphor of Skiing
  • The Torch: Promethean Leadership; Paying it Forward; Making the world a Better Place Than We Found It.
This TeleSeminar is the perfect event to bring 2009 to a close.  It promises to be inspirational and set the right tone for you and your team as you enter 2010.

Call Details


The Spark, The Flame and the Torch - How to be inspired and inspiring – everywhere, with everyone, all the time.


Thursday, December 17, 2009


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


Dr. Lance Secretan, IATF Visiting Faculty Member
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!


Download the recording of this call HERE.  IATF members have access to an entire library of recordings with teamwork and leadership luminaries.  Learn more about IATF membership HERE




Registration is closed.

In the 90 second video clip below, Dr. Secretan shares insights on Inspiration.

Making the shift from employee to business owner/builder -- IATF Leadership Skills TeleSeminar

Are you a Teamwork Facilitator who is an employee?

Do you dream of working for yourself?  Of owning your own Teamwork Facilitation business?

If you answered yes to these questions then this laser-like, 27-minute TeleSeminar is for you!

Shift_knob1 There is ONE key shift you must get when making the shift from working as an employee to owning your own team facilitation business.

This key shift requires you to re-tool your psychology.  You have to completely change the way you look at the world. 

If you don't make this key shift you will struggle.  It's that simple.

This TeleSeminar is intended to help someone who is considering making the shift from employee to business owner.

If you're a business owner already and you're struggling, this TeleSeminar will help you.

If you're working on your personal brand (i.e. "Brand You") then this TeleSeminar will help you.

Call Details


The One Key Shift for Teamwork Facilitators -- employee to business owner


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
runs for 27 minutes


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!


The recording of this call is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.




Registration is closed.

Building Trust at Work with special guest Charles Feltman -- Leadership Skills TeleSeminar

Trust_fall Trust is a precondition for teamwork.

Teamwork without trust is like water without oxygen. You don’t look at water and think oxygen, but if you tried to make the stuff without it you’d end up high and dry.

Trust makes all of the other things we want in teams possible:

  • engagement
  • commitment
  • collaboration
  • productive conflict
  • innovation
  • positive results

Which ultimately leads us to success and well being.

But trust doesn’t just happen.

Building and maintaining trust requires paying attention to what we say and do.

Today’s workplaces are minefields of limited time, competing commitments, opposing demands, and mis-communication that can easily lead to unintended breaches of trust. Even one small breach can sow seeds of distrust. Once distrust takes hold it becomes toxic to everyone involved.

This teleseminar will give you a framework and practice for building, maintaining and, when necessary, restoring strong trust in teams.

You’ll learn:

  1. Key practices to build and maintain trusting relationships at work.
  2. The most common enemies of trust in the workplace and what you can do to avoid them.
  3. How the cognitive, emotional, and physiological context of trust differs from that of distrust, and how each affects a team’s ability to perform.
  4. How to talk about issues of trust and distrust with peers, subordinates, and supervisors.
  5. How to repair damaged or broken trust.

Charles_feltman Our guest presenter is Charles Feltman, founder and principal of Insight Coaching, a firm specializing in leadership coaching, facilitation and training. He works primarily with Fortune 500 company leaders and leadership teams.  Book cover

Charles is the author the of The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building  Trust in the Workplace based on his work with individuals and teams around trust, commitment, conflict, and collaboration. 

Get the book at Amazon and at where you can receive quantity discounts.

Call Details


Building Trust at Work with special guest Charles Feltman


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


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


Charles Feltman, author of "The Thin Book of Trust"
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!


The recording of this call is now archived in the IATF Members Only Area




Registration is closed.

How does a teambuilding game relate to a job?

I recently received the following email:

I reviewed the Bandanna--Cup--Marble game and thought it was ok, however I was at a loss to understand this part of the task

'What metaphorically is the bandanna, cup, marble, and table relative to your job in this organization?  I gave the groups 15 minutes to create a presentation, which they would be giving to the other groups.  The group loved the activity and loved the discussion as well as the presentations from the other small groups"

What was achieved here and what were the answers, I am struggling to understand how inanimate objects can be related to a job??

Is it related to learning, experience, training

Please could you elaborate

Here's my response...

Dear (name withheld),

You wrote:

"I am struggling to understand how inanimate objects can be related to a job??"

People learn through the experience of the game.

The debrief session (processing the game with the group) helps people assign meaning to the game in a way that moves the team forward.

An example:

John Wooden is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time.  Coach Wooden talks at great length about how the game of basketball is a training ground for the "game" of life.  Wooden was famous for using the game of basketball to teach life lessons.

There is a GREAT documentary called "The Heart of the Game" which tells the story of a college professor who coaches a girls high school basketball team as a side job.  The coach uses the game to teach life lessons to the girls. 

Similarly, a team can use the bandana-cup-marble game to learn life lessons (team skills, leadership skills, etc.).

What does the game of basketball have to do with real life?  Nothing.  Unless the facilitator (coach) draws the connection.

What does the bandana-cup-marble game have to do with real life?  Nothing.  Unless the facilitator (trainer, supervisor, manager, etc.) draws the connection.

When people are fully engaged in the learning process they are more likely to learn at a deeper level.  Teambuilding exercises (games) help people more fully engage (intellectually, emotionally, physically) in the learning process.  The game becomes a story and our job as Teamwork Facilitators is to help the team assign an empowering meaning to that story.

The No-Cost Way to Motivate -- Management Guru Patrick Lencioni shares a powerful yet simple strategy

Patrick Lencioni is the author of "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" and many other books on leadership and teamwork.

Lencioni has a new article on motivation over at

"Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live." Those were the words of Quintus Arrius in the movie Ben-Hur. And while he was speaking to Roman slaves, one can almost imagine a modern version coming from a manager today. "O.K., people, you all know that unemployment is at a 50-year high. You're lucky to have jobs. So work hard, and no more complaining."

Lost amid the justifiable concern about the 9.7% of U.S. workers who are unemployed is the well-being of the other 90.3%, many of whom are miserable. They feel they're out of options and that management has little incentive to make their work lives more meaningful.

Even well-intentioned managers—as most are—feel their hands are now tied when it comes to motivating and engaging their workers. Salaries are stagnant. Perks and benefits are only going to get slimmer. What can they do?

CLICK HERE to continue reading the article.

Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

When it comes to motivation, there is mismatch between what science knows and what business does.

If you're using "carrots & sticks" (i.e. extrinsic motivators) then you should have been a leader (manager, supervisor, CEO, etc.) in the 20th century when you might have had some success with that style of leadership.  Carrots & sticks not only don't work well in the 21st century, they often cause harm!

Why won't carrots & sticks work as a motivation strategy in the 21st century?

The answer relates back to Dan Pink's book "A Whole New Mind -- Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future".  Dan understands the seismic shift happening in our world, the shift from a world dominated by left brain thinking to a world dominated by right brain thinking. 

Look around at the problems your team faces.  Do they have a clear set of rules and a single solution?  Doubtful.  In the 21st century Dan says "The rules are mystifying. The solution, if it exists at all, is surprising and not obvious."  In an environment like that, you've got to motivate your team in a different way to experience success.

Watch Dan give a great 18 minute explanation of what's going on in the video below.

VIDEO: Tony Robbins reveals how you (and your team) can be successful even when things look bad

Tony_robbins_interviews_frank_kern_and_john_reese What's the difference between a successful team and one that struggles?

This is the question I want you to consider as you watch this 38 minute video of Tony Robbins as he works with two very successful businessmen (two guys who used to be broke).  The video was not necessarily intended to help transform teams - - it was intended to help you (the individual) move forward in a successful way.  Even so, there is a powerful process Robbins shares at about 13 minutes in (look for him holding the notepad. 

What is the Holy Grail of someone taking action or not?

ANSWER:  Certainty

When a leader (or team) is absolutely certain that when they take X action AND that it will produce Y result and that result will change their life / team / business, the leader (or team) will do it.

Robbins shares a four quadrant model that will help you understand the mindset needed required to transform your life and your team.

Robbins says the purpose of this interview is to uncover the traits that successful people have in common. Specifically, the traits that cause them to take massive action and follow through. As you’ll see, the solution is really quite simple and available to us all.

CLICK HERE to view the video (link takes you away from this site).

Ten Business Strategies To Organize Your Family Life by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni, a best selling author in the teambuilding / business arena, shares 10 business strategies that will help your family life.

  1. Identify Your Core Values
  2. Establish a Single Top Priority
  3. Keep Your Values and Top Priority Visible
  4. Don't Make Snap Decisions
  5. Understand Your Opportunity Cost
  6. Asses Which Balls Bounce and Which Ones Break
  7. Don't Confuse Long-Term Strategies With Short-Term Tactics
  8. Meet Often To Review Your Progress
  9. Get Out of the "Office" From Time To Time
  10. Welcome Productive Conflict

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

What do I do if my manager is the problem on my team?

Best selling author Patrick Lencioni answers this common question:

"What do I do if my manager is the problem on my team? I mean, I don't have control over him. How am I supposed to have any influence?"

Lencioni says:

I used to respond to those questions by encouraging people to try to focus on influencing their own department and maybe even accept their situation for what it is. And while there is virtue in doing both of those things, I've recently come to the realization that there is an additional option-and a powerful one-that most of us are reticent to use, or perhaps unaware of. What I'm referring to is something I'll define as moral authority.

CLICK HERE to continue reading.

How does a team leader get to the place where she feels comfortable leading with "moral authority"?  The Answer:  Become a "Leader Coach".

8 Lessons on Teamwork from professional Adventure Racer and firefighter Robyn Benincasa

Learning how to build and lead a high performing team is easy.  So why aren't their more high performing teams?  One word:  IMPLEMENTATION

There are plenty of people who know what to do but can't pull it off.  They have the book knowledge and then stumble when it comes time to implement the ideas.

And I want to emphasize this - - I'm talking about building and leading HIGH PERFORMING teams.  The world is filled with mediocre, average and run-of-the-mill teams.  Poor implementation produces poor (or average) teams.

To build and lead a high performing team you must have a "force of will" that will carry you through the tough times (and there WILL be tough times). 

Another name for "force of will" is ATTITUDE.

To build a high performing team you must show up with a different attitude (different compared to what you'll find from leaders of mediocre teams). 

Robyn_01 I recently interviewed Robyn Benincasa who is an expert when it comes to having the right attitude for both leading and being a member of a high performing team.

Robyn is a firefighter in California and she is a professional adventure racer.  During the interview we focused on the lessons she's learned about teamwork through her exploits in adventure racing.

A little background...

Robyn has completed six Ironman races, with two podium finishes in her age group in Kona, Hawaii. In the past 10 years, she has completed over thirteen “expedition length” adventure races (7-10 days, non stop), and has earned World Champion honors in both the Eco-Challenge (Borneo, 2000) and the Raid Gauloises (1998). In addition to her work as a full time firefighter, Robyn runs a training and development business called World Class Teams and is a sought after motivational speaker.

Our interview focused on one of her most popular keynote speeches entitled “8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy”.

The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy are an acronym of TEAMWORK:

T -- Total commitment

E -- Empathy and awareness of teammates

A -- Adversity management

M -- Mutual respect

W -- "We" versus "I" thinking

O -- Ownership of the project

R -- Relinquishment of the ego

K -- Kinetic Leadership

To access the recording of this informative 60 minute TeleSeminar login to the Members Only Area of the IATF.  Not a member?  CLICK HERE to join.

Are you ready to become the ULTIMATE TEAMBUILDER?

Check out the new virtual leadership development program Leader As Coach Fast Track Program.  Over the course of this engaging 10-week program you'll make the shift from a traditional (command and control) model of leadership to a more powerful model of leadership based on a "coach approach".  Does it work?  YES!  And we're so confident in the results you'll experience that we offer a powerful guarantee.  CLICK HERE for details.

Watch the video clip below of Robyn talking about Element "K" - Kinetic Leadership

Should you provide a guarantee when offering teambuilding events?

What would happen if you offered a "100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back" pledge with all your teambuilding workshops?

How would this kind of guarantee require you to change the way you do business?

How would it change the way you interact with your client and staff?

John Springer of Four Winds training center recently shared this with me:

For twenty years we have offered every participant in every program this written guarantee:

YOUR GUARANTEE   Our promise is that the Four Winds experience will meet or exceed your participants' expectations – or you will not pay us. 

We've facilitated about 121,000 participants and to date have never been asked to tear up the check.  We quantify that guarantee very simply by asking each participant to answer a 5 question evaluation at the end of the program.  Each question allows the participant to judge the value of their experience on a scale of 1 to 10 - if we have not received an aggregate score of 8, 9 or 10 we simply can't afford to cash the check.

Our favorite aspect of the guarantee is the opportunity to hear and negotiate those expectations that our clients have of us - we think of it as being a 'set-up to succeed'!

Long ago, when I proposed that we institute this guarantee, it generated some thought provoking discussions. 

Staff wanted to know - "if the client's expectations are unmet and they don't pay us, will I still be paid?" 

Staff who are unwilling to accept that level of accountability for their performance choose not to work with us; those that shrug and say "I wouldn't expect to be compensated if I didn't meet or exceeded the client's expectations" are a good fit for our culture.

It was a case of asking staff to share the risk as well as the benefit - which is essentially the definition of entrepreneurship.  It's led us to a recognition that many of the most powerful facilitators have some very entrepreneurial leanings; the Socratic process of discovery through compelling questions requires genuine risk!  It takes courage to ask a question of your group when you don't actually know the answer yourself.  Trial attorney's are schooled to avoid any question to which you don't already know the answer.  Facilitators who fall prey to this view limit themselves greatly, in both the depth and the range of their questions. 

The initial incentive for our guarantee was focused externally, on the client - on building credibility and trust.  It turns out that the greatest value we derived from that process was to our own team -  improved internal  clarity, credibility and trust!

What would happen to your business if you offered the same guarantee John and his team offer at Four Winds?

How would your staff react to getting paid ONLY when the course evaluations result in at least an 8 out of 10?

What kind of customers would you attract if you offered this kind of guarantee?

"What if" - two powerful words for all teambuilders

Joe Vitale has a great post on his blog about two powerful words:  "What if"

The favorite question of the mind is "What if?"

For too many people (and teams) this question is asked in a negative or "down" way. 

“What if this doesn’t work out?”
“What if I lose my job?”
“What if I’m wrong?”

These questions don't feel good.  Fear becomes the focus.

Joe suggest we ask What If UP questions

“What if this works out beautifully?”
“What if there was never a problem in the first place?”
“What if I get a raise?”
“What if my idea makes me a millionaire?”

This single adjustment in how you ask a question transforms you, your energy, and the very answers you get.

Chef tries to manage Gen-Y with fear and intimidation and fails - shares lessons

David_adjey Toxic bosses beware!  Gen-Y won't put up with you.

David Adjey used to be a toxic boss who would fire people for rolling their eyes at him.  He claims he ruled the kitchen through the use of fear and intimidation and it worked!  Until Gen-Y came on the scene.

Adjey is a world famous chef known for his recurring appearances as "chef-to-the-rescue" on the Food Network's Restaurant Makeover.

“I couldn't figure these kids out,” Adjey says about Gen-Y.  “They weren't listening to me.”

All the old rules of management had to be thrown out the window. And Adjey, at the top of his game as a chef, a TV star and an author, had to reinvent himself as a boss.

Adjey stopped using a traditional model of leadership (fear, intimidation, my way or the highway, etc.) and upgraded to a new, more dynamic model of leadership based on coaching skills.  Staff turnover dropped and morale went through the roof.

Before upgrading to this new leadership style, Adjey says "I had cooks quit on me because I wouldn't serve fair trade coffee at my restaurant!"

“These kids are the smartest generation that has ever worked for me. They are thinking about the world around them and how they can positively influence their environment.”

If you're ready to upgrade your leadership style so you can lead Gen-Y more effectively then enroll in the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program

How to guide individuals and teams to win the games of their lives on their own terms -- CEO of Dave Buck visits the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program

Where are you on your Career Path as a leader of teams?

If you think the strategies, tactics and tools that got you here will get you there then you must become aware of a major shift that's happening right now in our economy (or you'll be left behind).

As you'll hear in the audio program below, we're evolving as a society and therefore your leadership style must evolve. 

The evolutionary progression started with an economy based on agriculture which gave way to the "Industrial Age".  From there we moved into the "Information Age". 

Dave_buck_150x150jpg Now, Dave Buck the CEO of, and IATF Visiting Faculty Member suggests we are rapidly evolving again - - this time to the "Inspiration Age"

Our economic prosperity will soon be based on Inspiration.  You can see this now - - people want to engage in activities that are both economically viable AND meaningful. This trend is particularly obvious among Gen-Y (under 30 crowd).

When it comes to leading teams, motivation is out and inspiration is in.

What's the number one skill for team leaders working in the new Inspiration Economy?


You must learn how to lead using the coach approach and in this recording Dave Buck shares 5 (of the 15) proficiencies required of team leaders who want to make the shift to building and leading teams using a coach approach.

Click on the link below to download and listen to the 60 minute audio recording of Master Certified Coach Dave Buck

Download dave_buck_1.mp3

Learn how to make the shift from an old traditional (command and control) style of leadership to an inspirational style of leadership based on the coach approach at the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program.

"Speed Of Trust" expert Barry Rellaford visits the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program to share insights on building trust on your team

Have you ever worked on or with a low trust team?

When trust is low, how do you establish, build and nurture trust on the team?  This is the question Stephen M.R. Covey answers in his best selling book

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

Barryrellaford The world's number one trainer of the Speed Of Trust material is Barry Rellaford who was a guest speaker at the summer 2008 session of the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program

Every leader I've ever met understands the importance of trust and yet, many struggle with how to create a culture high in trust.

This is where Barry Rellaford comes in - - he has a gift for presenting the complexities of the Speed Of Trust material in an understandable, memorable, and actionable manner.

In this recording you'll hear Barry talk about:

  • What is the relationship between character and competence relative to trust?
  • What happens when you mandate high trust?
  • How are trust and integrity related?
  • How do you pay a "trust tax"?

Click on the link below to download the 60 minute recording of master trainer Barry Rellaford talking about The Speed Of Trust:

Download barry_rellaford_2b.mp3

Gregg Levoy audio interview -- Author of "Callings: Finding And Following An Authentic Life" shares how you can become a stronger leader by getting clear on your calling

Here's a simple truth for you team leaders out there...

Your strength as a leader is defined by the degree to which you're following your Calling. 

  • Weak leaders are unclear when it comes to their Calling.
  • Strong leaders have great clarity about their Calling AND are following it!

A Calling is any leap you want to make in  your personal or professional life that will align or re-align you with your passion and sense of purpose, with  your deepest values, with a fit between who you are and what you do. 

A Calling is an urging from the deep Self that tells you what's needed to make your life come true.

Gregg_levoyWhen it comes to finding, clarifying, and following your Calling,Gregg Levoy is the go-to man.  He is the author of "Callings: Finding And Following An Authentic Life" and it's a must read for anyone ready to take their life (personal and professional) to an entirely new level.

Gregg recently visited the summer 2008 session of the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program and shared insights from his work helping people find their Calling and I recorded the call for you.

I recorded the 60-minute call where you'll hear Gregg answer these questions:

  • What is the relationship of Callings to leadership?
  • What is an authentic life?
  • What are the symptoms of not following your Calling?
  • What is life like when you ARE following your Calling?
  • How do you find your Calling?
  • How do you follow your Calling if your Calling is something other than what you're doing now?

Click on the link below to download the recording of Gregg Levoy speaking at the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program:

Download gregg_levoy_1.mp3

How to get things done -- Productivity guru David Allen audio interview shares strategies to increase productivity and reduce stress

If you lead teams then you need to know about productivity guru David Allen, the best selling author of 

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

I contacted David after reading the weekly Progress Notes of participants in IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program.

Getting_things_done Most of the program participants (leaders from around the world) reported having way too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Turns out this is the life of most leaders.

When you implement David's GTD (Getting Things Done) system you gain control of your life (personal and professional).  The result?  Less stress and more creativity.

And if you think your life is too far out of control for David's system to help then you're mistaken.  The GTD system has helped people in extremely challenging situations including an executive with more than 27,000 emails in his in-box!

Learning the GTD system does take time and effort and no doubt there will be some who will proclaim "I don't have time to learn a new system for being more productive and living with less stress!"  These are the same people Stephen R. Covey wrote about in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". 

You remember habit number 7 "Sharpen The Saw" and the story of the man cutting a log with a saw who is briefly interrupted by a passing "consultant" who notices how poorly the saw is cutting because it's dull and when the consultant suggests the man stop and sharpen it the reply comes "Who has time to sharpen saws!?  I've got too much wood to cut!"

In the audio interview below you'll hear David Allen interviewed by IATF President Tom Heck during his  visit to the summer 2008 session of the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program

Click on the link below to listen to the 52 minute audio interview with David Allen

Download David_Allen_visits_the_Manager_As_Coach_Boot_Camp_081108.mp3

Leading your team and lessons from the professor who teaches Harvard University's most popular class

Is your team happy?

Are YOU happy?

If you answered "No" or "Maybe" to the above questions then you will be interested in the new book by Tal Ben-Shahar entitled:

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

Ben-Shahar is a Harvard Professor and his class on happiness is reported to be the most popular on campus.

Does that surprise you?

Harvard students pay upwards of $50,000/year to attend this iconic university and they sign up for a course on happiness?! 

Could it be that many of these students will go on to lead teams - - some will be managers, some CEOS, some will create wildly successful start-ups.  And if they can create a team or a company that is filled with happy employees, they will gain a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace (reduced turnover, HR dept focused on building capacity rather than putting out fires, increased productivity, reduced stress,  fewer sick days, etc.).

Old-school, command-and-control style leaders didn't concern themselves with helping their employees / team members understand and become happier.  Times have changed.  Now leaders must lead their teams in a way that inspires and draws out the best in people.  The result?  Happier employees!

Learn how to build happier teams naturally in the Leader As Coach Fast Track Program

New leadership book by Bea Fields: "Edge - A Leadership Story"

In today's changing world, leadership is a skill which is tried by many and only mastered by few. Why? Because many leaders are unaware of the influence of their words, actions and deeds. They say things they wish they could recant. They lead from a place that is inauthentic. They don’t stop to think that their most critical team members are ready to jump ship, because they are bored, worn out and restless.

Edge_a_leadership_story The new book, EDGE! A Leadership Story, co-authored by my colleague, Bea Fields addresses these very concerns. Using a provocative approach, the book delivers a powerful message about authenticity, courage and human development through the engaging story of a modern day leader, Mitchell James, his team and his executive coach, Kate Nelson.

Bea Fields is a friend and colleague and I'm excited to help her announce this important book. I want to support Bea in accomplishing her mission: to help millions of readers get closer to becoming a leader who will have a profound and positive impact on the people in their lives.

I believe this book is breaking new ground in both the profession of coaching and the world of leadership, and I feel certain that you will be inspired by this work for years to come.

Get your copy now at using the link below:

Edge! A Leadership Story

Humor in the workplace

Humor in the work place is important.  But how should you be humorous?  Done incorrectly and you'll damage  your team.  Done well and the team grows stronger.

Click here for an explanation as to why humor in the work place is important.

Click here for a few simple rules to follow when using humor in the work place.

"How to talk about training games" by Thiagi

If you're a trainer then I urge you to subscribe to Thiagi's free monthly newsletter.  I enjoy reading every issue.

In his April issue Thiagi (prounounced "Tee - Ahh - Gee") offers a great way for you to respond to “So tell me all about the training games you play”.  Instead of telling them, Thiagi plays a game to demonstrate what it is all about.

CLICK HERE to read the complete directions on how to lead this simple easy to lead game.

The Coming World of Collaboration -- Howard Rheingold shares his genius

In this 19 minute video from a TED conference, you can get a glimpse of the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action -- and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group. As the presenter Howard Rheingold points out, humans have been banding together to work collectively since our days of hunting mastodons.

Turn off your TV and watch these amazing videos of inspired talks by the worlds greatest thinkers and doers presented at the annual TED (Technology, Education, Design) conference.  You can watch over 200 TED videos on YouTube HERE

Make Your Organization Stronger - - Be Charitable

The evil-doers thought our financial strength here in the US resided in the World Trade Center towers.  They calculated that blowing them up with all the people in them would cause our economic collapse.

They were wrong.

Do you know why?

Thomas Friedman explains why the evil-doers plans didn't work in his book Longitudes & Attitudes - Exploring The World After September 11.

Friedman says the evil doers of 9-11 see us as a god-less nation.  The evil-doers believe our financial abundance is a result of, a reflection of our total lack of all things spiritual.

Charity What's the truth?

Friedman mentions it in his book and now, new research shows the same answer...

Our abundance here in the US comes from the fact that Americans are remarkably charitable. 

And charity makes you rich.

Here's what a recent article from Conde Naste says:

The United States is a remarkably charitable nation. The Giving U.S.A. Foundation estimates that Americans donated nearly $300 billion to charity in 2006—more than the gross domestic product (the annualized value of goods and services produced within a nation) of all but 33 countries in the world. More than three-quarters of this came from private individuals. Additional research suggests that between 65 and 85 percent of Americans give to charities each year.

         How does all this generosity relate to our high average levels of prosperity?  Read the article HERE to find out.

Now, apply this to your team - -

Do you want to prosper as a team (organization)?  If you answered yes, then you need to take a close look at your current level of charity.  Consider giving to the United Way or the Red Cross.

Do you want to become more attractive to the Gen-Y employee?  Then you better have a robust and visible plan for charity and volunteerism.

How are we all "One" and yet separate?

Teams are made up of individuals who, when they are fully living their passion, share their unique gifts so that all may prosper.

It's a paradox. 

We are all One.  We are all connected.

And yet...

We are separate.  (at least it appears that way)

How to explain this paradox?  Check out this amazing and GIANT piece of art.  Look very carefully at the small pieces (squares) and you'll discover each square is it's own picture.  All pieces are unique and when assembled just right (when the pieces work as a team) a beautiful picture emerges.


CLICK HERE to view this picture and be able to click on the smaller pictures to see what's really going on.

Are you looking for an opportunity to bring your team together as One?  Do you want your team members to get clear on their talents and gifts so they can more fully contribute to the team effort?  I can help you.  Contact me to schedule a time to talk about your needs, goals and dreams.

Patrick Lencioni - - The best gift a manager can give an employee

Here in the US it's the gift buying and giving season and leadership guru Patrick Lencioni suggests managers NOT give a cookie basket, gift certificate or desk accessory. 

Lencioni offers up a free gift idea every manager should give her employee that takes a little time and perhaps a bit more courage and vulnerability than managers are sometimes prepared to spend.

But the benefits will make it all worth it.

CLICK HERE to find out what this gift is.

Teamwork Raises Everyone's Game - - so says The Wall Street Journal

How does teamwork impact the bottom line?

Who better to answer that question than The Wall Street Journal?

An article from the November 7, 2005 issue says research from a variety of settings points to the fact that how a team works together will determine their level of success - - even in fields thought of as dominated by individual "stars".

Individual stars?

Yes, you know who I'm talking about.  Like the "star" heart surgeon.  Surely you want the star heart surgeon to be the one digging around in your chest.  Right?


The research points to the fact that "the death rates from similar procedures performed by the same surgeon can vary as much as fivefold" depending on the surgical TEAM the heart surgeon is working with.

The article says:

...the results suggest that the surgeon's interactions with anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians are crucial to the outcome of the surgery. "The argument has always been that if you want to get something done well, you go to the best surgeon," he says. "Our findings suggest that the skills of the team, and of the organization, matter."

Even though teamwork has been a buzzword in management and business-school circles for years researchers say companies tend to focus recruiting efforts on a handful of stars. Focusing on assembling a groupof stars is a sure way to stay mediocre.  If you want your organization to excel then you focus on building TEAMWORK.

Read the WSJ article HERE.

Teamwork Vital to Millennials

The Times Union published an article describing strategies for managing Millennials (people born 1982-2005).  Teamwork is VERY important to Millennials.

Consider assigning tasks to teams or groups of people and evaluate the outcome of the entire team rather than evaluating the individual. Being able to work on a team is valuable to the collaborative Millennial who wishes to learn from others but also have an opportunity to offer new ideas in a friendly environment.

Read the entire article HERE.

Learn how to lead teams using the advanced Manager As Coach program.

Master Trainer Barry Rellaford -- mini training session on Trust Accounts, your "Trust Tax" and the hidden variable of trust

Barryrellaford Barry Rellaford is a master trainer who works with CoveyLink, the organization behind Stephen M.R. Covey (listen to the audio interview I did with Covey HERE).

This mini training session (audio interview) is part of a series I'm doing with Barry about the work he does with leaders and organizations on trust.

Barry is the lead trainer of the Speed Of Trust organization which is headed up by Stephen M.R. Covey.  Barry's experience is enormous and I'm amazed and what he can share in a short amount of time.

In this 20 minute training session you'll hear Barry describe the "Hidden Variable" of success.  You can see this hidden variable in the following equation:

"Traditional" Success formula states:

Strategy x Execution = Results

However, this equation is anything but accurate.  The equation is missing the hidden variable of Trust.  To reflect the power of trust the equation must be rewritten as:

(Strategy x Execution) Trust = Results

Listen to the audio interview to learn how Barry helps people understand the hidden variable of trust through a simple teambuilding exercise called "Hidden Numbers".

This recorded training session is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.  Members CLICK HERE to access the recording.

Icebreakers: When, Why and How to Use Them by master facilitator Michael Goldman

My friend Michael Goldman of recently published a newsletter containing guidelines for using icebreakers:

  • When to use icebreakers
  • When NOT to use icebreakers
  • Debriefing an icebreaker

And he even provides an example of an icebreaker.

CLICK HERE to read his newsletter.

Michael and I are leading a LIVE Teams In Trouble train-the-trainer event October 11 - 12, 2007 in Boston.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend because this is going to be great.  More information coming soon!

Master Trainer Barry Rellaford -- mini training session on how to start the "low trust" conversation

Barryrellaford Barry Rellaford is a master trainer who works with CoveyLink, the organization behind Stephen M.R. Covey (listen to the audio interview I did with Covey HERE).

It's a delight to call Barry my friend.  He's been a supporter of since the very beginning and we've had many a phone conversation that I later said "That should have been recorded".  I say they should be recorded because our conversations are so rich and meaningful that I always think others would enjoy listening to them.

On Wed May 29 we had one of these "it should have been recorded" conversations. 

We were talking about an experience I had with a client and how I suggested they were dealing with trust issues.  My client pushed back and let me know "trust is definetly NOT the issue".  It clearly was but they didn't want to acknowledge it.  Barry provided me with some amazing feedback.

And it's no wonder he's an expert on trust.

Barry helped design the workshop based on the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey and he is delivering this training around the world on a near weekly basis. 

Can you imagine working on the topic of trust with business leaders on a weekly basis?  Awesome.

Barry's level of knowledge and understanding of all things trust is deep and profound.

Back to the "it should have been recorded" conversation...

I finally did it.

I said to Barry "We MUST have this conversation again!"  He agreed and so today (May 30) Barry and I had our conversation about trust  - - specifically talking about why trust is such an emotional topic and how questioning a person's (or organization's) level of trust does  NOT mean you are questioning their integrity.

During the conversation you'll hear Barry offer a fantastic suggestion on how to take some of the charge out of the conversation by simply replacing the word trust with a similar word that doesn't have all the emotional charge.  It was a big "ah-ha" moment for me.

This recorded training session is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.  Members CLICK HERE to access the recording.

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil -- what this means to teams and the people who lead them

Business guru Guy Kawasaki interviews Dr. Philip Zimbardo who authored the recent book entitled "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil".  CLICK HERE to read the interview.

Dr. Zimbardo conducted the now (in)famous Standford Prison Experiment in the summer of 1971.  His book discusses in great detail the experiement, it's relevance to Abu Ghraib, and the “banality of heroism.”

In my work with organizations, I seek to build a culture of teamwork NOT just lead a teambuilding workshop.  Creating an organization whose culture can be described as "win-win" is what my work is all about.  For this reason I looked at Abu Ghraib and wondered how a culture of evil was consciously or unconscioulsy created at Abu Ghraib.  When I look at Enron I wonder the same thing - - how is it that a culture of deceit is created.  And conversley, how does one create and nurture a culture of win-win?  Dr. Zimbardo's book describes how this happens.

Kawasaki's last question to Zimbardo is the most exciting to me.  After researching the "benality of evil", Zimbardo is on a new mission to discover how people can become heroes:

Question: Using the same factors that make people do bad things, can you make people do better and better, even heroic, things?

Answer: My new mission in life, my new calling, emerged as I was writing the final chapter of Lucifer. In rethinking Hannah Arendt’s concept of the “banality of evil” as a kind of every normal person’s situationally specific but temporary excursion into the realm of evil, I realized is counterpart was missing.

The “banality of heroism” describes ordinary people who engage in extraordinary deeds of service to humanity—in particular, usually once- in- a lifetime situational setting. Like those doing monstrous deeds that look “terrifying normal,” these ordinary heroes look “delightfully normal.”

So I argue that the very same situation that can inflame the “hostile imagination” in those who become perpetrators of evil can inspire the “heroic imagination” for the first time in any of us. To become a hero involves only two steps on humanity’s path:

Read the entire interview HERE.

Building a team with smart people -- using an I.Q. test

Imagine building a team with really smart people. 

You can make sure everyone on the team is smart by making high IQ scores a requirement.

Do you think this team would be successful?

If you said yes, think again.

Daniel Goleman, author of the NY Times best seller "Emotional Intelligence" reports HERE that...

IQ is a mirage when it comes to how someone actually will perform on any given job. It tells you nothing about that person’s drive or self-mastery, their ability to collaborate or empathize, let alone their ethics.

...a summary of data on the trivial value of IQ as a predictor of job performance, (is) a dirty little secret that has been well-known within psychology for decades.

So what predicts how well someone will actually do (on the job)?  IQ scores are not on the list. 

I found a system that does predict performance HERE

Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey - a great podcast

Stephen M.R. Covey recently authored a book entitled "The Speed of Trust".  It's a wonderful book and he offers an outstanding workshop based on the book.

Now Covey has a fantastic podcast you can subscribe to for free HERE.  When you go to the website you'll see several photos of Covey but the image I really want you to focus on is the one next to "Speed of Trust Radio on iTunes".  You really should listen to Covey interview Chris Anderson who authored a great book entitled "The Long Tail".

Trust is THE foundation of all great team and Covey's free podcast will help you learn how to build trust on your team and in your organization.

In teamwork, emotional intelligence is the crucial social lubricant

Daniel Goleman is the author of the NY Times best seller entitled "Emotional Intelligence" and "Social Intelligence - The New Science of Human Relationships".

Goleman's work has direct applications in the world of teamwork.  In a recent post at his blog, Goleman reports on two independent studies that reflect the power of emotional and social intelligence.

If you were trapped by a blizzard and your very survival depended on how well you could work together with a handful of other people, what should you wish for in your team-mates? A goodly dose of emotional intelligence.

That conclusion stems from two independent studies reported in the journal Human Performance. In both studies teams of volunteers were posed the challenge of how to survive in simulation of desperate survival scenarios, like a blizzard. Close to 20 teams were evaluated on how well they came up with solutions that would help them survive.

The champion teams, both studies found, were highest in group emotional intelligence. Intriguingly, when individuals were given the same challenge, their cognitive ability (as measured by SAT scores – these were college students) was the best predictor of survival. But once people were put in a team situation, individual cognitive ability made virtually no difference – instead emotional intelligence made the difference.

CLICK HERE to read Goleman's full post on this subject.

Joe Vitale on How To Get From Where You Are To Where To Where You Want To Be -- A lesson for individuals and teams

How does a team get from where they are to where they want to be?

How does a team make the shift from good to great?

Dr. Joe Vitale says

The secret to getting what you want is to totally appreciate this moment. When you are grateful for this moment, then whatever is next for you will bubble up out of this moment. You'll be inspired to take action of some sort.

Vitale says his favorite line these days is

"I'm totally satisfied, I just want more."

The key to success (individual or team) is to want more without NEEDING more.

Read Joe's entire post on this subject HERE.  It's worth your time.

I interviewed Joe Vitale in November 2006 about his book The Attractor Factor.  Listen to the audio interview with Joe Vitale HERE

Audio Interview: Randy Siegel on Communication Styles and How They Impact Teamwork

Randy_siegel Since ancient times, man has attempted to categorize the different personality styles.  In this interview with Randy Siegel, we focus on understanding personality styles relative to communication. 

Teams that communicate better are more successful.  This is obvious.  The problem is that most systems for understanding communication styles are too complex to easily use in a real, everyday (team)work environment.

Randy Siegel presents an easy to use communication model that helps teams become stronger, more creative, and more competitive.

Randy is a specialist in professional development, self-branding, communications training and executive positioning.  He is the author of High Voltage Communications -- Electrify Your Career and Transform Your Life.  His articles have appeared in Integrated Marketing, PR Journal, PR News, Washington Post, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

Get instant access to this audio when you become a member of the IATF.  Learn more about IATF Member Benefits CLICK HERE

During the interview Randy mentions a free downloadable handout describing the details of his communication styles system.  CLICK HERE to download this 9 page document.

Audio Interview with Roger Greenaway on Debriefing and Processing Teambuilding Games

Pers_roger Dr. Roger Greenaway is a master at maximizing the debriefing (processing) of teambuilding exercises.  Roger calls his approach "active reviewing" and he's earned his reputation by helping educators and trainers from around the world learn how to maximize the benefits of experiential learning.

In this 30 minute audio interview Roger shares his unique perspective on teamwork activities and how you can get the most out of them through "active reviewing".  Roger tells you how to best transfer the learning from the activity so the lessons learned are useful and memorable.

The recording of this TeleSeminar is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.

Remarkable Teams

Do you know what it takes to be remarkable?  To make a remarkable team?

Seth Godin shares 10 ways you can be remarkable.

1. Understand the urgency of the situation. Half-measures simply won't do. The only way to grow is to abandon your strategy of doing what you did yesterday, but better. Commit.

CLICK HERE to read the other 9.

Audio Interview with Laurie Beth Jones on Spirituality and Teamwork

00126_orginal Laurie Beth Jones is the author of many best selling books that teach how to effectively blend our spiritual life with our life as leaders and team members.

I was introduced to Laurie Beth's while working as a faculty level trainer for the YMCA of the USA in the mid 90's.  Her first book was entitled "Jesus, CEO - Using Ancient Wisdom For Visionary Leadership" and I was handed a copy by a workshop attendee and then I promptly placed the book on my book shelf (unread).  When I finally got around to reading it I enjoyed it.  This led me to Laurie Beth's second book entitled "The Path - Creating Your Mission Statement For Work And For Life". 

I enjoyed The Path so much that I became a nationally certified facilitator of the program and even appeared along side Laurie Beth in a nationally distributed video based home-study course. 

In this audio interview, Laurie Beth Jones shares insights on spirituality, leadership, and working with teams.

Click on the link below to listen to the 30 minute audio interview.

Download laurie_beth_jones_mp3.mp3

Note:  The first minute or so of the interview is a little garbled. 

Learning Fallacy - - Homework Is Valuable (NOT!)

In my work as a teamwork coach I help trainers and managers design high impact teambuilding programs.  Many of the people I consult with believe they have a firm grasp about what it means to teach people (educate, train, etc.).  The reality is most trainers are simply copying the teaching methodology they witnessed while going through school, meaning the teacher talks and the students listen passively only to regurgitate facts for an exam.

That is not teaching.

One of the sacred cows of teaching is homework.  Everyone knows that homework reinforces learning.  Homework promotes understanding.  Homework promotes high achievement.  Homework is good.

Only it's not.

Hmwrkmythcover In his latest book entitled "The Homework Myth", Alfie Kohn systematically shows that all of our commonly held beliefs about the value of homework do not pass the test of research, logic, or experience.

Here's what one reviewer from the Atlantic Monthly had to say about the book:

Parents take note: this is a stinging jeremiad against the assignment of homework, which the author, a prominent educator, convincingly argues is a wasteful, unimaginative, and pedagogically bankrupt practice that initiates kids into a soul-sucking rat race long before their time.

What else do you believe to be true about teaching and learning?


Interview # 1
Click on the link below to listen to a 10 minute audio interview with Alvie Kohn about this book.
Download Alfie_Kohn_homework_myth.mp3

Interview # 2
CLICK HERE to listen to Alfie Kohn interviewed on the Diane Rehm show (public radio program in the Washington DC area)

Audio Interview with Dr. George Kohlrieser -- Lessons about teamwork from a hostage negotiator

When you think of conflict, what comes to mind? 

Fighting? Aggression? Hatred? Fear? Struggles? Battles?

This is how most think of conflict.

17809 But hostage negotiator turned professor of leadership Dr. George Kohlrieser says effective leaders (and hostage negotiators) have trained themselves to look at the positive side of conflict:  opportunity, energy, passion, creativity, and engagement.

Not only that, Kohlrieser says you’ve got to learn to like dealing with conflict.  He goes so far as to say teams must be able to have intense arguments (constructive fights) if they are to make the shift from “good team” to “great team”. 

0787983845 Kohlrieser is the author of “Hostage at the Table – How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

In this audio interview Kohlrieser shares an empowering view of conflict and then explains where conflict comes from and how you can lead your team through it and enjoy – and benefit from –  the process.

Click on the link below to listen to the 45 minute interview:

Download dr. George Kohlrieser sm.mp3

Here's what others are saying about this book:

"George Kohlrieser's brilliant book offers a unique and penetrating perspective on how people can free themselves from being held hostage to their self-imposed limitations. Hostage at the Table is filled with inspiring stories and the depth of Kohlrieser's insights that will enable the reader to become a fully empowered leader. It is a must-read."
-- Bill George, author, Authentic Leadership; former chairman & CEO, Medtronic

"In Hostage at the Table George Kohlrieser brings his unique expertise in the emotional land mines of negotiation to the challenges of leadership. Leaders everywhere will find much of practical use in this smart and engaging look at the emotional undercurrents that make or break an organization."
-- Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence

Teamwork Lessons From The World of Long-Distance Bicycle Racing

Peloton The Tour de France is a 23-day 2,700 mile bike race.

It's not just any race though.  It is considered by many to be the most grueling athletic event in the world.

And it can teach us a lot about teamwork.

Anyone who follows sports knows of Lance Armstrong who won the tour a record 7 times.  But Lance could have never done it without a strong, dedicated, and finely tuned team.

In June 2006 Paul Hochman wrote an article for Fortune Magazine entitled "Pack Mentality" in which he shares the lessons of teamwork taught through long distance bike racing.  CLICK HERE to read the article. 

Illusion of Teamwork

Does your organization work as a team? 

Or is their an illusion of teamwork?

One way to to tell if you have an illusion happening is if your office/building is filled with fancy framed pictures of people climbing mountains, or sailing ships and the word "TEAMWORK" is prominently displayed on the pictures AND your teamwork training budget allows for a raft trip every three years.

Can an illusion work?  Yes, but only for so long.

A man became lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Luckily he was not injured, but his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

"Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the haggard mule, and then back at the farmer who stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job."

The man decided he had nothing to lose. The two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch.

The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins he shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!" And the mule pulled the car from the ditch with very little effort.

The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those other names before you called Warwick?"

The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he’s part of a team he doesn’t mind pulling."

In this story, the illusion works because the horse (team member) is kept in the dark.  In other words, the horse is lied to.

But illusions can be so much fun and amazing...

Fun and amazing illusions are best left to artists and magicians.  Businesses (teams) that use illusion them will end up like Enron.