Tag: coaching with Brian Gast

What’s In Your Bubble? The Secret to Living a Fulfilled Life

June 27, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

We all live in a Bubble. The outer-most layer of our Bubble is our mask—the façade we want others to think is real. At the center of the Bubble is our Authentic Self, our True Nature, our Essence. If there is an inherent purpose to our lives, it’s to make the journey from the outside of this Bubble to its center. At the center is our aliveness, spontaneity, authenticity, joy, and potential. When we live at the center of the Bubble, we’re at home, we feel fulfilled. Yet it feels like every cell in our body wants to move to the outside of the Bubble, to the successful front we believe everyone wants to see. The Leader’s Façade The journey […]

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Embracing Death, Competing Agendas, and the Great Mystery

April 20, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

A forty-six-year-old gregarious and affable executive and member of Young Presidents’ Organization took his own life last month. He was married, with a twelve-year-old son. Everyone is trying to make sense of it. The event has generated feelings of shock, confusion, sadness, guilt, and anger. Behind the feelings are many thoughts. The post-modern mind has a tendency to pathologize everything—especially things that are hard or impossible to understand. Why did this happen? What could have been done? What could I have done? What signs did we miss? How can it be avoided next time? Whom Do You Know? I was reminded of how few people I know well (and how few know me well). The measure of how well we […]

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Three Recipes for Unhappiness

February 22, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

You can never get enough of what you don’t really need. ~ Unknown I’m a slow learner. In my twenty and thirties, I knew I was ambitious, hard-working, and resourceful but I had no idea what really drove me. Ironically, it was the source of my internal drive that limited my performance and happiness. I was a focused young man. And although I didn’t blatantly plow over colleagues in the early years of my career, my career pace and path were certainly more important than my relationships at work. It seemed practical to operate this way. I took my work seriously and I had plenty of friends outside of work. Eventually I heard the feedback from mentors and co-workers. I […]

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How to Get to Heaven

December 20, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

How do you develop the authentic humility and fulfillment necessary to lead yourself and others? Tim Tebow’s contagious humility starts with his thank-you’s (see my recent blog post). Before he responds to reporters’ questions, he thanks Jesus, his teammates, and his fans. Then he attributes the good outcomes to a broad set of factors, and acknowledges his errors when things didn’t go well while he was on the field. He never talks as though he’s making things happen on his own for his own benefit. He always acknowledges his sources of support in its many forms. Contrast Tebow with me when I was in my twenties, making millions and being interviewed by the press (albeit many fewer millions, and less […]

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The Only Thing You Have to Know About Leadership

October 4, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

The Vice-Chairman of the Board invited me to dinner. Was the purpose social or business? By the manner in which he asked me, I knew there was something on his mind. I was the CEO of the company and Rick was a long-time friend and mentor (to the extent that I was mentor-able in my thirties). He was a Virginian, respectful and understated. Sometimes so reserved you didn’t know exactly what was on his mind. Over dessert, Rick waded slowly into risky territory. He asked me a few cryptic questions about how I thought things were going at the company. He stepped gently on a few more eggshells and asked how I thought I was communicating to my top team. […]

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Radical Simplification: Three Practices for a Fulfilling Life

July 30, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Surgeon General’s Warning: Living a busy and complex life causes heart disease and has been found to be dangerous to the health of your soul and will distract you from what needs attention in your life. You live in a culture that encourages success, not fulfillment. If you really want fulfillment you’ll have to work for it and risk feeling like the odd duck sometimes. You’re not short on opportunities. That’s both the good news and the bad. The information, money and options you have come at a price. Our competition, comparing ourselves to one another, idealizing independence, and spending a lot of time working have made America great in many ways. Yet these norms fragment us and distract us […]

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The First Step to Becoming a Great Leader

May 31, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

When I work with top teams I am helping the team become more aligned and effective and I am helping the team members be better leaders of the teams they lead. The two goals are interrelated because the first step to becoming a strong leader is being a strong team member. Team members who lack relational and conflict resolution skills or who are not accountable to others make lousy teammates and weak leaders. Do your own self-assessment of your team-play skills? If you were on Survivor, how quick would your team vote you off? Do you step into conflict consistently and with empathy and vulnerability? Do you do what you say you are going to do? What do you do when […]

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Leadership and Self-Deception

May 4, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Just re-read Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Group, The best book on leadership I have ever read. Required reading for all of my clients. It teaches leaders that they betray their core values (primarily by seeing people as objects vs. people trying to meet core needs) they no longer see objectively. I call this living inside your bubble (they use a “box” metaphor) that distorts reality. Others look stupid or lazy or some other projection. The problem for leaders is that everyone knows when the leader is in a box/bubble – they are judging, blaming and complaining, etc. and they get defensive and do all kinds of stupid things. The leader’s belief about his or her team becomes self-fulfilling. […]

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How to Find Passion at Mid-life

April 21, 2011 | By | 4 Comments

I’m celebrating my 51st birthday this week. The best thing about turning 51 is that I’m not fifty anymore. Turning fifty and being fifty sucked. For you forty-nine year-olds, you have been warned. For those turning fifty and dreading it or hating it, there’s hope. Leading up to my turning fifty, I was pretty pumped. Then came my birthday and, for what seemed like the rest of my life, all I could think of was how much time I had left. It was like God set an oven timer and I couldn’t stop looking at it every few minutes to see if it was ready to go off. The glass changed from being half full to half empty. I found […]

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Executive Life Coaching: Moving From Success to Fulfillment and Back Again

February 22, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

What’s the definition of success? Is this person successful: Self-made multi-million dollar net worth by age thirty, CEO of a company for which you led the IPO by age thirty-five, in good health, solid marriage, active social life, vacation home, expensive European cars in the garage, the time and money to play and vacation in nice settings? Maybe there isn’t one definition for success. Perhaps we all have to determine for ourselves what it is. If so, what’s your definition? I used to be the guy in the first paragraph. I thought I was successful. The problem I ran into was I always wanted more of all of it. A bigger condo in the mountains, more money in the bank, […]

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