Home Improvement Stores – A Place for Change

I don’t know about you, but I love home improvement stores. I could spend hours going up and down every aisle, looking at the vast selection of tools and gadgets for sale. Mind you, I’m not particularly handy although I have experienced a few small victories in the home improvement/repair department – unclogging a tub being my most proud moment. So, what is it about home improvement stores that I find so fascinating?

First, it has to be the sheer ingenuity that someone at some time created a better or more efficient way to accomplish a task. Thousands of inventions for thousands of uses all right there to make our lives easier. Locks, switches, wireless doorbells, motion detectors, and even the toilet plunger – the tool I used to unclog my tub.

Then, there are the raw materials such as lumber, plywood, and paint. Home improvement stores provide endless opportunities to create something new. All it requires from you is imagination (and money). Walking aimlessly through the aisles causes my mind to wander and dreams to form. Look at this idea. Could I do this? Yes, I think I could.

Finally, home improvement stores are the impetus for transforming something old into something new. My house is vintage 1978. For the most part, I’m waiting for it to come back in style. Alas, there are times when I must make a repair. It is then that I have a choice. Look for a simple replacement or use the opportunity to transform the function. In so doing, I brainstorm all the various options, decide on the most feasible idea, and execute.

Thinking about home improvement stores makes me think about organizational change. There are endless tools and theories at our disposal to create something new or transformational. Maybe the next time you are faced with a change initiative, you should start at the home improvement store and let your mind dream of the possibilities.


Lean Into What?

Before there was Sheryl Sandberg telling us to “Lean In” there was Brené Brown telling us to “lean into the discomfort”. How often do you step out of your comfort zone only to jump back from feelings of hesitation, fear, and uncertainty? It is so often our own selves that hold us back from experiencing new things and challenging ourselves to go deeper into something. What exactly is it that holds us back?

Fear of failure. I am a member of a nonprofit organization committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community. At a recent leadership retreat, our guest speaker, Vicki Clark reminded us there should be “no failure” in our mindset. For a group dedicated to training women to be community leaders, we have to understand that failure must be embraced as part of the learning and growing experience. And, so it goes in all other types of work. If we don’t have the freedom to fail, then we don’t have the ability to risk, to achieve greater things, to get better.

Fear of the unknown. Sometimes you might encounter a situation where you are completely out of your element. It’s unfamiliar and you may not even be sure of how you got there. This is when that voice in the back of our heads tells us it’s ok to retreat, to not even try. It seems pretty easy to make a u-turn, back to familiar territory. And, why not? We’re good there, we’re safe, we have no worries. But, what if there was something even greater waiting for you? I personally believe that opportunities come along for a reason, and it is our responsibility to explore them. We may find that it wasn’t worthwhile, but we may find a path to greatness. It’s worth going there.

Fear of conflict. Today’s political climate is rife with unhealthy and destructive discourse. It seems that politicians are so afraid of conflict that they’d rather stand behind accusations and personal attacks. As long as the world has at least two people, disagreement is inevitable. It’s in our nature. But, we can’t let a fear of conflict keep us from pursuing new possibilities. When coming against opposition, practice active listening in order to respect other opinions, identify areas where you both agree, and search out compromises. These strategies may not eliminate all disputes, but they should give you greater confidence in approaching conflict.

So, lean into the discomfort. Embrace it. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable because that may be exactly where you do your best work.

The motivations to work

You are probably familiar with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – those five levels that humans experience that go from basic needs to self-actualization. Employers can use Maslow’s theory to better understand what motivates people to work. Not surprising, a salary is not the strongest motivator. Continue reading

the [create+lead+solve] coaching relationship

The primary objective of the coaching relationship is to help facilitate the client’s awareness of a situation and the client’s development of an action plan to address it. After the action plan is implemented, accountability measures and feedback are critical to ensure success. Continue reading

The essence of …

The essence of coaching is about seeing your client take on a tough challenge and succeed through their own will and determination and knowing that you, as the coach, were there to encourage and support them as a witness to their transformation.