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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Archive for August, 2010

A Match Made in Heaven

Personal Secrets on

Coaching, Leadership and Collaboration

The best gift you can give others is an improved you, coaching can get you there.

The biggest factor that influences commitment, accountability and performance at work is the relationship people have with others, especially the boss. Executive coaching is about helping executives build great relationships and become leaders people respect, like and want to follow.

As leadership coaches we serve as sounding boards to executives seeking outside, objective expertise and insight. What is the secret to a successful coaching relationship? Trust, a learning spirit, chemistry… Hum, sounds a lot like a healthy marriage.

For more than 20 years we’ve been working together as a husband/wife business team to better understand leaders who have created “best place, best people, best work” environments. Our experience is both personal and professional.

Like any partnership ours is complex and ever changing.  Do we have it wired?  NO!  But the journey has taught us much about the practice of leadership and collaboration and the value of coaching to lift deadly blinders and empower you to grow.

How do we coach executives (and each other) to lead big, inspire collaboration and grow commitment, accountability and performance? We borrow from the best leaders we know, encourage each other to live what we learn and coach executives to do the same.

In the spirit of learning, we think coaches need to be coached!  Recently we went through a relationship match profile—a very insightful process that revealed our individual and “matched” leadership behaviors, collaborative styles and key motivators.

What did we learn? We’re very different! Yet how powerful we can be if we stretch beyond the comfort of our own way of thinking and behaving.  The process lifted our individual blinders and reaffirmed our “match” if we capitalize on the power of two.

So what makes for a match made in heaven (personally and professionally)? In other words, what are the secrets to servant leadership and collaboration?

  • No ego!  You have to check it at the door.  Arrogance inhibits humility and every great and gutsy leader we know is confident BUT humble.
  • A unified vision, it provides direction, stability and guidance especially in the midst of uncertainty. A unified vision is a crystal clear picture of what you and others want to achieve through your relationship.
  • Unconditional acceptance, it creates openness to critical feedback and a willingness to learn and grow.
  • Forgiveness, it fosters trust, authenticity and vulnerability.
  • Patience and a deep appreciation for difference, it allows you to capitalize on the power of collaboration.
  • Purposeful planning, clear goals and deadlines—all are critical for execution and accountability. A crystal clear, unified vision is cool but you need carefully defined stepping-stones to get you there. You need to determine who owns which stones and when they need to be in place?

Let’s face it, servant leadership is not for the faint of heart, no wimps, no whiners allowed!  Leadership is a choice.  There are countless moments in every day when we must choose to rise above our own personal agendas and self-protecting, what’s-in-it-for-me, ego-boosting motives and choose instead to serve, to be there, to listen, and to exercise patience!

And collaboration is hard work as well. It’s time consuming, it can be frustrating and it requires teamwork when doing it alone seems easier.  Collaboration is about being accountable to something larger than you and you alone.  It requires vision and direction both of which provide unity and collective purpose.

Whether your leading a team or refreshing a personal relationship if you commit to unify on these issues performance will improve and fulfillment will increase.

To find the right coach strive for chemistry.  The success of any coaching rests on relational fit, it must feel like a match. Every meeting should be uniquely tailored to helping you:

  • Think through how to handle major strategic initiatives and key changes in the organization.
  • Engage the leadership behaviors necessary for creating a performance-driven culture.
  • Fine-tune your message, develop more confidence and improve communication skills.
  • Improve relationships with employees, reduce turnover and re-recruit key players.
  • Inspire higher levels of commitment and accountability
  • Create more meaning, happiness and fulfillment in work and in life.

The Fall always feels like a fresh start. Why not give yourself, your team, your spouse or significant other the gift of a refreshed, renewed, recharged you?

Look for a coach who can help you lift your blinders and kick off the Fall with purpose and focus.

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Summary for Success-Seekers

Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, and Success-Seekers

maximize your time… READ summaries

Each month SUCCESS Book Summaries reviews 3 books to help time-strapped leaders stay current, fresh and relevant.

In the September issue of SUCCESS magazine you will find a SparkNotes—like summary of BOOM! a book offering 7 timeless choices for building an unforgettable leadership brand and inspiring a culture of leadership and accountability.

The written summary miraculously condensed more than 275-pages into a very readable and action oriented 6-page spread and capped it off with seven “DSN—do something now” action steps. For those of you who prefer audio you get that too.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time when victimization, entitlement, and excuse making are prevalent and highly contagious, BOOM! reminds us of our freedom to choose and rise above these times.

In a nutshell, we are not defined by our job, or loss of our job, we are not defined by our boss, our team, the economy, unemployment, politicians or sickness. We are defined by how we choose to lead and succeed in the midst of all these things.

Success Points suggests BOOM! will teach you how to:

  • Make the seemingly most mundane job meaningful
  • Accomplish what seems impossible by putting service over self-interest
  • Take risks and push through the fear of failure
  • Increase your success by empowering others to be more accountable.

Finally and most importantly BOOM! will teach you how to embrace the freedom to choose and lead big regardless of where you are planted!

Discover the power of living and working as if every day were your last. The key is choosing to make a difference and focusing on taking charge instead of levying blame and playing it safe.

For more information on SUCCESS Book Summaries.

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Meetings Are Priceless

Host a Meeting, Re-Engage & Give Back


Our need to meet is increasing and our ability to meet is improving; yet the waywe meet is radically changing!

If you think you still can’t afford to host a meeting or conference—think again.

You can’t afford NOT to meet! For every dollar spent on incentive travel a business typically gains more than $3 in revenue and it’s even more for a larger gathering vs. solo trips earned by individuals.

According to a recent report done by Site, an organization of incentive and travel executives, so far this year they have seen a 63% increase for incentive travel events over last year and it is moving in an upward direction.

We are not talking about executive boondoggles, we’re talking about meetings that motivate people, meetings designed to celebrate hard work and success in the midst of change and challenge.


We are talking about incentive events, meetings and conferences that reward and celebrate the everyday employee. The employee who has busted their butt, worked weekends and evenings, missed family functions and continues to hang in there. The employee who is willing and a diehard—committed to doing whatever-it-takes because the survival of the business requires everyone to do more with less.

Bottom line, meetings are a great way to refresh and recharge people who have hung in there and gutted-it-out. If you’d like help in creating a meeting to celebrate, motivate and provide your hard working employees with better tools for driving the business forward check out our speech topics.

Let’s quickly revisit the ROI of meeting. At meetings you reap the benefits of networking and knowledge sharing. Meetings and conferences are a hotbed for making professional connections; building relationships and acquiring new skills; sharing industry information; collaborating with peers; and scouting, recruiting and evaluating talent.

Although the ROI of meeting hasn’t really changed, the approach to hosting a meeting has—these days “thrifty” rules. Everything has an air of frugality and discretion. And at last, Corporate Social Responsibility is finding its rightful place in our meetings.


Luxury accommodations and 5-Star resorts will always be nice but these days they are the exception not the rule.

Spa treatments and rounds of golf…sorry for activities like these, you’re on your own, no more all-inclusive trips. Instead, you can join an organized walk, run or yoga session.

Unlimited water bottles are an environmental “No No” and an extremely expensive line item to the budget. Instead, look for large water jugs in the back of the meeting room and you’ll be encouraged to carry your own personal water container (a gift you probably received upon arrival along with your handy recycle bag to reuse for shopping).

Pampering is being replaced with public service activities. Community service and team building initiatives are the new cocktail and happy hours. Maybe you’ll stuff backpacks for foster kids, prep meals for the elderly, sort socks and blankets for the homeless or build an activity park for kids.

The good news, the ideas and needs are limitless and regardless of how you choose to give back your contributions are PRICELESS!

It’s time to meet—gather your team, celebrate their hard work and give back.When you meet this year, everyone wins.

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