What does that title really mean? It sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Let’s just do it.

The First Reflection: It’s your 95th birthday and you are surrounded by those most important to you. Can you see them? As part of this celebration, there will be six or seven people who talk about you. It starts with the youngest generation of your family, a great-grandchild. The next generation (grandchildren), and then your children. Your best friend has time, a coworker who spent years with you, a sibling, and finally your significant other.

  • What material have you given them to talk about you?
  • What impact have you made on their lives?
  • What was it like to be part of your inner circle?

If you took this seriously and did the exercise you created quite a vision. This is a significant destination. How are you feeling after this event? What is your legacy?

That is what reflecting on a future event looks like. Let’s continue and build the path to your 95th birthday by looking at two more events.

The Second Reflection: It is your retirement from the workforce. It is a celebration of your transition, your last day.  You are leaving a company, a nonprofit, maybe selling or closing the doors of your business. At this gathering, a number of folks will talk about what it was like to be closely associated with you. Three categories of individuals will talk, those you worked for or were mentors to you, your peers, and those that you led. What will they say?

  • What material have you given them to talk about you?
  • What impact have you made on their lives?
  • What was it like to be part of your inner circle?

The Final Reflection: This is your next transition. What will this next transition be; a promotion, career change, a move to a new city, getting married, having a child? You choose the event that makes the most sense. Thinking about this by itself can be enlightening, maybe you are not quite sure what the next event is. In this transition, three groups of people are going to come and talk to you. One will be someone you look up to, maybe a mentor. The second will be a peer, and the third is someone who looks up to you and your mentor. What do you want them to say to you?

  • What material have you given them to talk about you?
  • What impact have you made on their lives?
  • What was it like to be part of your inner circle?

You have just set a long-term vision with three definitive milestones. At each milestone, you are evaluating yourself from multiple perspectives, including your own. This sounds a bit like what Scrooge experienced in A Christmas Carol. You are creating a preview of future events to build the path to get you there.

Want to learn more about what vision is, check out a short video sharing more details.

“Adversity does not build character it reveals it” James Lane Allen.

“Her calm leadership under incredible pressure it what made us successful today!” You have heard a statement similar to this before and maybe said it yourself. Reflect on a leader who you are familiar with: a boss, a coach, a political leader, a coworker, who successfully deals with crisis after crisis. How do they maintain their poise and steady leadership while embroiled in a situation rife with challenges, imperfect information, and severe consequences caused by their decisions?

My premise: They are not just great crisis leaders, they are great leaders because they live by and continually practice the values required to lead under duress.

Crisis leaders are decisive, selfless, focused on the mission, the good of the organization, and its people. They communicate clearly, are trusted, and have the courage to speak and stand by their convictions. They do this all the time, not only in response to a crisis. Living and practicing those values with every interaction regardless of its magnitude builds the “crisis leader” muscles.

Core values are the foundation of our being, drive our behavior, and are what is personally most important to us. In times of crisis our personal façade is torn away and our core values are bare for everyone to see. If you feel you are unable to lead in a crisis – maybe it is time to examine how you handle your daily small predicaments. Will the values “muscles” you are exercising serve you in the next major crisis you encounter?

You cannot show up on game day and expect to win without preparation!

Millennials are rapidly filling leadership roles and responsibilities in many organizations. Here is a look at what millennials want to increase their leadership capacity and grow. https://lnkd.in/d_A9Hc2 .

Want to learn more?

Contact us to explore the benefits of leadership coaching https://greattransitionsstrategies.com/contact-regular/

On December 6th Gary Slyman of Great Transitions Strategies will be co-hosting an event with Dvorah Graeser of KissPatent. The event is focused on how to make the transition from corporate employee to Startup Launch. It will held in Washington DC at WeWork Dupont Circle. For those who do not live in the area or who are unable to attend they will also host a live webinar, on Dec 8th. 
Get the details and sign up here:
WeWork Event: https://www.meetup.com/TechBreakfast/events/235491697/
Webinar: https://www.meetup.com/TechBreakfast/events/235491697/
Learn more about KissPatent and Great Transitions Strategies here:

Ever think to yourself:

“I have this great idea for a Startup, the technical capability, and desire. I just don’t know how to evaluate the path forward to pursue my dream?”

Many of us have a stereotyped image of the startup entrepreneur as some grad school student living a Spartan existence to make their enterprise a success. That image is incorrect.  Most of today’s would-be entrepreneurs are well-established professionals with significant responsibilities. There is the mortgage, the student loans, savings, tuition, professional responsibilities, and family-life. Those commitments will not allow them to live on a Raman Noodle diet without a paycheck while building their new enterprise.

So how to do it?

Do it by building a team and do NOT – “go it alone”.

To make your transition a reality, build a team that is “all-in” with you in achieving your success! 

Who should be on your team?

Your roster should have players only concerned with your success and who will empower you to rigorously evaluate the challenges each step of the way.

One of those players must be a professional coach. Your coach will engage in a relationship solely focused on you pursuing your vision. Your coach will empower you to reflect, take on challenges, and hold yourself accountable throughout the journey. You will learn about yourself as you answers questions such as:

1.    What is my vision?

2.    What are my current capabilities?

3.    What are the gaps between my current state and my ultimate goal?

4.    How do I move from my current place to achieve my vision?

Ask successful professionals you know who they rely on to keep them progressing. Singers, executives, business professionals, and athletes all have coaches as a member of their team. Why? Because the only purpose of a coach is to focus on accelerating and maximizing a client’s performance.

Invest in yourself by hiring a coach as a member of your team and explore the possibilities of how to become the founder of your own startup.

Ryan Lotche is the latest high-profile victim of poor decision making or more simply “himself”. One night of bad decisions influenced by one, or a combination of the three elements – sex, alcohol, and/or “after midnight.” derailed his success story. Rather than celebrating his Olympic successes that he worked daily over the course of years to achieve, he is dealing with the fallout of one night lying on camera, embarrassing the United States, and losing endorsements.

Of course there are other missteps such as greed and power that bring down leaders. However, those elements have a more premeditated and long-term process of destruction. What I am referring to here are individuals who in one night precipitate their world crashing down around them. The disaster is preventable and caused solely from decisions that were made after midnight, and influenced by sex and/or alcohol.

I contend that an individual not only has the potential to have their judgment clouded by sex, alcohol, and after midnight, but as you combine the elements the risks increase exponentially. My evidence is purely anecdotal however; you may have anecdotes that also support my point. Think of several people you know that had a good thing going such as a career, family, relationship, or business venture derailed by a one-time event. What were the causal factors? Were sex, alcohol, and a decision “after midnight” part of the equation?

To be clear here are my definitions to fit the context:

  • Sex: merely the act of pursuing the opposite sex qualifies as sex in this context
  • Alcohol: being under the influence and over the legal limit to drive
  • After midnight: making decisions after 2400 hours local time

Lets look at an example: It is Friday afternoon and the group you lead decides to have an impromptu celebration. Your announcement that the company was awarded the contract that consumed the team for two weeks was greeted with cheers. The celebration starts at happy hour, the drinks flow and everyone is having a good time. Those that try to leave get pressured to stay for dinner. There is plenty of wine and toasting at dinner and as dinner ends the group starts coming up with ideas for what is next that night. It’s getting late, many have had too much to drink, and someone says: “Let’s go across the street to that bar with the band and dance floor.”

Have a picture in your mind? What happens next is up to your imagination or experience. Some possibilities:

  • Nothing negative occurs everything works out fine.
  • A drunken coworker gets in their car and drives home.
  • Someone says something to a coworker that is inappropriate.
  • Someone misses an event with a significant other?
  • Photos of the group and individuals are posted on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Someone streams portions of the event on Periscope.

So what’s the big deal you say, your team is just celebrating a professional success. You are right and a well deserved one. But as a leader what are your roles and responsibilities to yourself, your team, and the organization?

Leaders manage many risks to ensure success, to navigate challenges, and to meet high levels of performance. As professionals they constantly prepare for contingencies, they know their responsibilities, and are ready to fulfill their role 24/7. If that is true, how is it then that leaders from the lowest levels to CEO’s have fallen prey to poor judgment outside the confines of daily routines?

Do decision-making, risk management, and training for scenarios outside of the confines of daily routines have the correct priority in your leadership training and education? Leaders’ decisions 24/7 have an affect at a personal, a professional, and an organizational level. Just ask the Ryan Lochte and the US Olympic Committee.