The One Thing by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC


Self-reflection is a critical part of growth. This applies both to our personal lives and our businesses. We must consistently take stock of the things we’re doing, and the impact they’re having on our lives, so that we can adjust as needed. Making regular adjustments helps us to capimagesitalize on the things that are making a positive impact in our lives while allowing us to quickly eradicate those things that hold us back.

As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to make changes in our habits, and put actions into place that will make us happier and more successful. To make the shift easier and more likely to succeed, start by choosing one thing you can do to improve your life this year. It may be helpful to make a list of issues, both positive and negative you would like to address first.

Consider the issue that causes you the most stress or unhappiness, or the one that most stands in the way of your productivity. Think of it as the issue that is most likely to make you lose sleep at night.

Once you’ve identified the issue you’ll work on, start brainstorming ways to resolve it. This is generally the most difficult part, since it’s likely that if this issue had an easy resolution, you would have already resolved it.

Involve others in your brainstorming, if appropriate. For example, if the issue is an ongoing problem with your spouse, make an appointment to sit down together and discuss. If it’s a problem at work, talk to others who have an impact on the problem.

In some cases, your issue may not be a negative one, but rather a failure to do something you need to be doing to create a positive impact. For example, if you want to grow your business, you may need to add specific tasks to your routine that help you to attract new clients or increase sales.

Starting with a single issue to resolve can help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed about making changes in your life. Once you’ve made strides toward resolving the first issue, you’ll likely feel energized about moving to the next item on your list. This momentum can help you move through the most important issues in your life as you feel ready to tackle these. Before you know it, you’ll see a significant impact in your life as you address the issues holding you back.

Why Willpower Is Not Enough by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC


Commitment is one of the most important aspects of success, regardless of the type of goal. Commitment, when it is true and deep, is a great fuel for moving forward. It is important to understand, however, even when you are deeply committed to a goal, you must have the systems in place to help you meet that goal.images

Too often we want to rely on willpower to help us meet our goals. However, relying on willpower is often ill-fated, as it is a resource that runs out quickly. We only have so much mental and physical energy to support willpower, and soon we give into our old habits because we are drained of this energy.

Rather, to meet goals, it is important to have systems in place to help move you forward. These systems will operate when your willpower fails, helping you to stay on track.

A simple example is of the proverbial dieter, who has vowed to give up cookies. This dieter is much more likely to be successful if she ensures that she doesn’t have access to cookies in her home than if she buys cookies, ostensibly for her family, relying on her willpower to refrain from eating them. It is likely that there will come an evening, after a long hard day at work, when she is tired and hungry. The cookies on the shelf will seem to be calling her name, and it will be too much for her willpower to overcome.

Systems set you up to be successful. Systems can be routines that help you stay on track, or even support people who hold you accountable. Systems can also be substitutes, helping you to replace problems or obstacles with more acceptable means. Using the example above, support systems might include dieting with a buddy, while substitutions might include buying low calorie cookies to help avoid a feeling of deprivation, allowing the dieter to have a snack.

Change is difficult, and making real change takes a period of practice. Having the systems in place to help you develop the right habits and keep them, will help ensure your success in making the changes you need as a leader.



Assessments:  So Many Choices

by Cindy Stradling

When I meet with clients and they are interested in conducting an assessment for their organizations I am very careful to find out why they want to conduct and assessment and what information they intend to obtain.  There are so many choices, I could write blogs for the next six months and still not have explored all of them.  For the month of April I am going to share with you my experience of four of the assessments that I have personally taken. 

Week Three – Kolbe

KolbeThe Kolbe wisdom is based on the concept that creative instincts are the source of mental energy that drives people to take specific actions.  This mental drive is separate and distinct from feelings and thoughts.  Creative instincts are manifested in an innate pattern (modus operandi or MO) that determines each person’s best efforts.  A person’s MO is quantifiable and observable, yet functions at the subconscious level.  MOs vary across the general population with no gender, age or racial bias.

An individual’s  MO governs actions, reactions and interactions.  The MO also determines a person’s use of time and his or her natural form of communication.  Exercising control over this mental resource gives people the freedom to be their authentic selves.

Any interference with the use of this energy reduces a person’s effectiveness and the joy of accomplishment.  Stress inevitably results from the prolonged disruption of the flow of this energy.  Others can nurture this nature ability, but block it by attempting to alter it.

The Kolbe assessment does many things (too many to mention in this short blog) and there are things it is does not do (again too many for this short blog).  I have listed five of the things Kolbe does and five that it does not.

Kolbe Does

  • Identifies instinct based or natural abilities
  • De-bunks performance related stereotypes, which have been based on gender, age, race and ethnicity, physical, intellectual and social attributes
  • Provides language for describing innate talents as Natural Advantages
  • Quantifies the stress a person will suffer if not given the freedom to operate according to individual needs
  • Assesses the obstacles to freedom of operation, which may be imposed by the self and others

Kolbe Does Not

  • Identify weaknesses
  • Suggest to people that there is something wrong within them that should be changed
  • Remove personal responsibility for actions
  • Rate individual talents on scales of better or worse, more or less important or any other value system
  • Suggest that one person is more likely to succeed than another.

As you can see Kolbe takes a very different approach.  What I personally liked most was that I could understand better what activities gave me energy and what did not.  I still had to perform the activities that actually drained my energy but after doing Kolbe I learned to manage them at times of the day when my energy was high and to perform these activities in shorter chunks of time, this was a big help for me to not procrastinate on my least favourite things.

The Kolbe Impact Factors are the 12 ways we approach problem solving determined by our MOs.  Although we can solve problems using any of the 12 methods, each of us has four – one in each Action Mode that allows us to do our best, most efficient and creative work.  We instinctively begin the creative problem solving process using our most insistent mode of initiation.

The Four Action Modes are Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor.  My  index results show  that my natural advantage is that I am an innovator: meaning my conative creativity is intuitive, visionary, and highly original.  I have a knack for finding alternatives and discovering unique ways to get things done.

There is a lot more information available from the Kolbe assessment should you wish to have it done.

Next week: My results from taking the True Colors Assessment.