Archive for June, 2008

Great Teams

Great teams cultivate a culture that encourages internal coaching. People on these teams don’t hold back; they are not political and they do not miss opportunities to get better.

If you are lucky enough to participate in such a team, you know how great it feels. It is one of the most joyous and fulfilling experiences you can have. Executives from our coaching seminars tell us about the excitement of working with winning teams that develop a coaching culture. These teams make them better professionals and help them to continue to grow and develop.

We all get inspired when witnessing a sports team that is moved by something greater; wherein, the individual players surrender to become part of a greater whole that amplifies their individual contribution.

What are the characteristics of a strong coaching culture, where each person is ready to coach and be coached by everyone else on the team? They are the same characteristics of winning teams:

1.    Unified vision and purpose
2.    Willingness to change
3.    Love of learning and growth
4.    Great humor
5.    Fanaticism about collaboration and improvement
6.    Focus on the team output, not on roles
7.    No defensive in the face of learning
8.    Fast recovery and resiliency
9.    Celebrating success and celebrating learning from mistakes
10.  Low on ego, high on results

Learn about developing Top Talent Teams here.

© Aviv Shahar

Being Attractive To New Insight – A Consultant Journal

If you are to make yourself attractive to new learning and insight you have to dare to step into unknown situations, and to do that you must:
1. be fascinated with life and living.
2. be comfortable in not knowing.
3. love learning, truth and growth more than you love your ego.
4. be excited about new possibilities more than you love your need for security.
5. be ready for learning and insight to come through anyone regardless of their position, seniority or age.
6. have a sense of humor.
7. be mentally agile and alert.
8. be intensely present and treat each conversation as though it’s the most important thing in the world.
9. trust your capacity to turn every setback into valuable learning.
10. have a sixth sense for the invisible dimensions of things.

© Aviv Shahar

Prague Visit

Prague, the Golden City, is filled with colors—pink, yellow, turquoise, green, amber and gold. I am here to facilitate a strategy summit. It’s a good idea to assimilate the character and nature of the place prior to engaging. Understanding the history and character of a place helps me to be more effective in my communication. One of the best ways to learn about the character and energy of a city, a nation, a region is to observe both its young and old inhabitants. The elderly reveal the feelings about the past of the city they live in. The young people broadcast their sentiments about the future. I look at how each person walks, how they carry their sense of self, the dominant expression on their face, and whether there is hope or despair in their eyes. Are they tidy or loose? Are they engaged or disengaged? and much, much more.

In my first three hours in Prague – in the airport, the taxi, and the hotel, I interacted with seven people in their 20s. They were all bright, energetic, tidy, looked me straight in the eyes with confidence and energy. It told me more about Prague and its current conditions than reading five newspapers about what’s going on here. There is something vibrant and hopeful about this place and its future.

A few days later, thousands gathered in the old square to watch their soccer team beat the Swiss team on large outdoor TV screens. Prague is not dilapidated and suffers no vapidity. It is a vibrant city but is not as prurient as New York or London. It has a unique power and pride. Layers of old and young histories, one on top of the other conflate and build a great compound of power. Its beauty has been preserved and now the city is emerging to embrace a bright future for its people. Prague.

Here also, is the famous Jewish cemetery where twenty generations back, my great, great, great, great grandfather, the renowned Rabbi Maharal is buried.

© Aviv Shahar

The KEY: The Power of Meaning

This Key is about the power of meaning. Can you remember an age when you used to wonder for hours about the meaning of things? These wonderings inspired you to discover and find out more. This was the impulse of consciousness awakening and it propelled you to search for meaning and ask even more questions.

Later this impulse was re-directed to achieving, finding success, and getting ahead. The importance of “why” was re-focused into “how” to achieve your aspirations. What does meaning mean for you today? Did you know there is a risk in cutting off meaning in your life? How do you use the power of meaning in your endeavors and pursuits?

Mount Tabor Race
Have you noticed what impacts your stamina, endurance and ability to cope and stay focused? Why are you able to find great focus and endurance in certain situations and not in other ones? Here is a story about how stamina, endurance and focus grow because of meaning.

At age 13 my sole focus was to win the national cross country long distance running championship in Israel. I had been competing for a couple of years and felt strongly this was my year. I won a few races but the most prestigious competition, the Mount Tabor race, was the championship I had been dreaming about. It was a challenging 4K meter race and there were hundreds of us storming the starting line. In order to move forward when we got to the steep climb, I had to survive the first 300 meters in a good position. I knew the talent of the other runners and decided which one was going to be my hardest competitor. We were in similar physical condition and were both capable of winning, so the race had to be won based on strategy, determination, will power and focus.

Back then (1972), the mind-body connection was not main-stream knowledge as it is today, but I knew deep inside me that the race was to take place and be decided in our minds. The mind that was the more focused and determined would lead one of us to win.

Now here is the question that this key poses: What focuses the mind most? What determines whether your mind is focused or not on what you do? It is not the outcome; it is the meaning of the outcome for you. Click here to find out what happened in the race and how you can use this key.

© Aviv Shahar

To Lead

To lead is to go where you have never gone before, to open a way forward into unknown, uncharted possibilities. Then it is to encourage, coach and help others release their greater capacity to achieve the seemingly impossible, to realize a potential beyond their self-concept.

The first breakthrough is inside, in your capacity to reframe reality and lead your own life. Coaching others into their self-discovery and leadership is the natural next step.

© Aviv Shahar

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