20 Nov

Be mindful of what you don’t measure

Peter Drucker famously said that what gets measured, gets managed. I often hear this when working with different business owners and leaders, which on one hand is excellent as we need to be able to measure results to understand how far we are in reaching our goals. However, the dangerous issue which arises so often, is that the things that don’t get measured are simply forgotten and pushed aside as not important.

Think about this scenario. A sales team are measured on sales targets. To them closing sales and hitting that target is the most important action. And rightly so, if you are getting graded and rewarded on a set outcome, then that is what gets attention. It is also a key driver in reaching the business’s overall financial goals. The problem lies however in not what the target is necessarily, but in how the target is achieved. What kind of behaviour is displayed whilst working towards the target? How well does the sales team work together, or is it a survival of the fittest, hunger games situation? Does the conduct of the sales team negatively or positively affect the business culture? Are the set measurements strengthening or weakening your business culture and customer engagement?

When setting measurements, don’t be short-sighted and just think about reaching one goal such as the financial goals. This can become a win-loss situation for you and your team. Think about putting additional measurements in place that will maintain a positive culture within your business, maintain a strong a team spirit, build strong customer relations and eventually strengthen other areas of the business. There is not one silver bullet to achieving overall business success and therefore all factors need to be measured.

27 Sep

Why you need to prioritise your goals

A few years ago I wanted to shed a few kilos, and get fit for a cycling holiday. Piece of pie I thought. I would be incredibly disciplined, focus on both goals and pull this off in no time. Unfortunately, reality hit when my dietician at the time informed me that I should be prioritising. Lose weight or get fit, which one would I like to achieve first?

This principle can be applied to business too. Think about your main business goals. Have you prioritized them or are you trying to provide equal focus and attention on all of them at the same time?

The problem with not prioritising is that there is a risk of objectives clashing with each other. This could result in time being wasted in decision making, internal conflict, employees getting frustrated or confused and you land up not achieving anything.

Say you have selected four or five main objectives for the year, and increasing sales and product innovation are two of them. Before drawing up your action plans you should confirm how your resources will be split up to achieve these objectives. You likely have funding constraints and therefore resources must be allocated strategically. So should you focus on increasing your sales first, or will you place the focus on research and development for product innovation?

If you decide that innovation is your first focus, you will acknowledge that sales growth will need to come in at second place. Why? Your resources, such as money, time and people will be directed to innovation and development. Not to say that sales growth is not important, but by clarifying which objectives take priority and therefore the bulk of the resources, it ensures that everyone is reading off the same page. This in turn allows for your team to have laser focused attention for the selected timeframe, which saves time, money and relationships.

Define your objectives, clarify their importance, develop your action plans and assign your resources.

25 Jul

Reasons why you don’t always reach your goals

Stopping smoking, losing weight or improving your time management. These are common examples of goals we set ourselves from time to time, with many coincidentally being set with great pomp, ceremony and champagne around about the beginning of the year. New Year’s resolutions we call them. We convince ourselves that change needs to take place as a new year rolls around. A new year, a new me! For some this may be what’s required to get moving and achieve the desired results, but for most these “new goals” fizzle out within the first two weeks of the year and everything goes back to normal with the idea of improving ones time management being a dark and distant memory.

So what went wrong? Firstly, goal setting shouldn’t be controlled by the time of the year. If you want to achieve something start doing it as soon as possible. Stop waiting for the new year, a new moon or the next leap year to make things happen. Waiting causes you to lose momentum and motivation and procrastination starts kicking in. Secondly, setting a goal and just doing it, is not always as straight forward as we think. The secret to achieving a goal is understanding that your habits and behaviours need to change first. As an example, to achieve the goal of improving your time management, stop thinking about being a time management king/queen. Instead, start thinking about the following;

  1. What habits/behaviours are  currently preventing you from achieving this goal?
  • Going to bed too late and waking up late.
  • Saying yes to every request that comes your way
  • Not keeping a consistent diary

2. What habit, from the above list can you change right now?

  • Setting an earlier bed time or setting the alarm to wake up earlier.
  • Before saying yes, check what tasks and priorities are currently needing your attention. Then say yes, if you can manage it or get into the habit of saying no.
  • Start using a diary.

These are simple habit or behaviour changes. It’s about focusing on changing just that one habit and making it a part of your everyday life, making it a norm. Once the habit has been altered for the better you, can move onto the next habit-changing task. Very soon, you will  realise that you are actually achieving your main goal. Successful goal achievement is not about big wins, it is about understanding what habits or behaviours are holding you back, and figuring out the best way to change them.

22 Mar

If you had balance in your life, how happy would you be?

Work-life balance – a phrase we hear all too often. But some people will roll their eyes, put the thought of balance into the “too hard” box and carry on with the juggling act they call life. Sound familiar?

When the topic of work-life balance comes up in a coaching session, and it comes up often, people have a range of opinions. They either believe that it’s too selfish on their part to have a balance in their lives, in other words they are not worthy of balance; or they don’t believe that all components of their life carry equal weight. For example work is seen as more important than spending time with family and friends or exercise.

The funny thing is, is that no one in your life is going to create balance or happiness for you. You have to make it happen for yourself. Stop waiting for permission, stop waiting for someone to make you happy and take control of your own balance and happiness.

Here are two questions I would like you to think about.

  1.  If you had balance in your life, how happy would you be?
  2. How are your personal goals aligned to your work/business goals?

If you think your life is unbalanced and you are unhappy in your current situation because of this, either working too hard or playing too hard. Think about if you changed your current situation, how happy would you be or how much happier would you be?

We cannot separate our personal lives from our working lives, so are your goals in alignment, or do you try and live two separate lives? How’s that going for you?

One tool which you can use to help you reflect on all areas of your life and to create a starting point for change is the wheel of life.  After you have rated yourself on each of the eight areas, think about a goal that you would like to achieve for each of these areas. Let each goal be as important as the next. Then put your thinking cap on and come up with a way to achieve these goals.

Remember, no-one but you is going to create balance for you.

14 Dec

Self-development is a key component to business success

Throwing stones at tigers, leveraging collective strength, resilience, turning disabilities into abilities,  and triumphing against dangerous pirates! These were just a few of the themes from TEDx Auckland 2017 that I was privileged enough to see this past week.

I left the talks feeling invigorated and motivated and gave myself a real talking to on the way home, about not attending more of these inspiring events.

The odd thing is that even if you really love your job as I do, we can very quickly find ourselves stuck in the mundane day-to-day hamster wheel of life and when you look up from the appointments, paperwork and “being busy”, 6 months have passed and you have given your self-development no attention. The saddest part is that you have missed out on these amazing opportunities.

Success is not just about focusing on the business goals, but a huge component of your business success or failure comes from how healthy the mindset of your team is, which includes yourself.

So how do you know if there is a healthy mindset in your organisation? It all comes down to how productive and proactive you and your team are. You can have the most highly motivated team members, but there comes a time in every organisation when people’s enthusiasm starts sliding. How can you combat this?

  1. Firstly, acknowledging that it is essential to encourage a balance between business development and personal development.
  2. Talk to your team members and understand the areas they would like to develop. This is not about job skills and competencies, but personal skills and competence. This includes you, by the way. Define the areas you would like to strengthen and explore.
  3. Set goals and deadlines and define what these “self-development” projects will look like. Will they be books, motivational talks, webinars, courses, workshops, mentorship programmes?
  4. Write these goals done for yourself and your team members and keep yourself accountable.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to action it!

We are absolutely spoilt for choice these days. Every where we look there are events taking place, which could add such great value to us personally and to our team. So, lift your head up from your “work”, think about your personal development goals and spend some time researching what’s best for you. You won’t be disappointed.

29 Sep

Coaching should always be client-centric

I was chatting with a business owner the other day and they commented that they were not too sure if their business goals would “fit” into the coaching model.
When you operate in the coaching world and you are continuously in the coaching mode it can be very easy to slip into a comfortable position and think that everyone around you absolutely, one hundred percent gets what coaching is all about.
When I heard this comment it was yet another reality check for me of how some people perceive coaching and how they believe it works. Here was a great opportunity to move out of coaching mode and shift into educator mode.
My response to this business owner was that it is not the responsibility of the business to fit into the coaching model. Firstly, because there isn’t just one coaching model. There are many techniques, tools and styles that can be used to coach businesses.
Secondly, and very importantly, it is the responsibility of the coach to identify which strategies would best suit that specific business’s needs at that particular time. The coaching would need to “fit” into the business.
A point that needs highlighting here, is that it’s not actually about the coach. It’s not what’s best for them or how they think your business should be operated. Coaching or the coach’s mindset should always be  client-centric, always putting the needs and goals of the client first.
Working with a coach can be hard work. The process will cause you to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge you and stretch your thinking in many ways, but the coaching process should always operate in a safe space and never force you to do something you don’t want to do. You are in charge of your own destiny, your own business and your own success. It is your choice, and your choice alone.
27 Jul

10 truths I have learnt from being a coach

Recently I spoke at a business function. My brief was to talk about coaching and how being coached can open up opportunities for you. What an awesome brief, as I am usually asked to speak about more specific topics such as goal setting, prioritising or deadlines. This brief certainly was a breath of fresh air and also a  source of great indecision. There were so many aspects of coaching and it’s benefits that I could talk about! Where to start?

In the end I took  inspiration from Anne Lamott’s Ted Talk, 12 truths I learnt from life and writing 


“Anne Lamott has inspired me to speak this evening about the 10 truths I have learnt from being a coach. Hopefully some of these points may resonate with you and will prompt  some thinking on the way home. This being a big goal for any coach. Making you think.

Truth # 1 – Have your own goals – Make sure you are always working toward achieving your own goals. That is in business and in your personal life. These days the majority of us could be classified as borderline workaholics. It seems to be in our DNA to always be working hard and it seems to be the norm to always be busy. Don’t get to your deathbed one day and think, “oh gosh” I should have done my own thing. I should have worked towards achieving my own goals! Because by then it is just too late!

Truth # 2 – You can teach old dogs new trick – The dog just needs to be open to change. Once we realize that we are never too old to change, learn and grow, it is amazing how many opportunities we open up for ourselves.

Truth # 3 – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – You can be the biggest visionary in the world, with the greatest ideas, but here is the thing; if you don’t draw up action plans and deadlines in order to achieve these goals, they will just stay visions and dreams forever with no results.

Truth # 4 – There is some truth in the saying “ There are 101 ways to skin a cat” there are 101 ways to solve a problem, you just need to be open to new thinking, new ideas and also other people’s opinions.

Truth # 5 – Learn to be more objective. In coaching terms this is what we call maintaining the coaching position. The next time you find yourself in a heated situation. STOP, BREATHE and STEP BACK, removing yourself from the situation helps to place things into perspective and allows you to think objectively about things. You’ll also find that this process can lift a weight from our shoulders. The weight of our EGO’s, righteousness and judgment.

Truth # 6  – Learn how to practise mindfulness – this is not about whipping out your yoga mats, drinking green tea and finding your centre. This is about learning to be in the present moment and to be happy and accepting of the present moment. We are constantly thinking about the “next project” the “next win” and this is good as it motivates us, however don’t let the future-focus mindset sabotage the opportunity to focus on the present. Learning to be in the present moment. Appreciating the here and the now only makes our lives richer.

Truth # 7 – You don’t need to wait for permission to start something – Your life is not like a collection of bus stops. You don’t need to be waiting around for the next bus. You don’t need to be waiting around for someone else to give you permission to do something in your own life or business. This sounds absurd now, but I see it often. The only person who should be giving you permission is yourself.

Truth # 8 – Who are your supporters, your cheerleaders? Who is your confidante, your shoulder to cry on? We cannot work in silos. When you make a decision to make a change in your life, make sure you have organised your support system beforehand.

Truth #  9 – Celebrate the little things and the big things – Take a moment to think about your past week and what you have achieved over this week? Did you celebrate those successes or were the successes too insignificant that they were forgotten about? Learn to celebrate.

Truth # 10 – You are making a decision, by not making a decision. Decisions can be damn hard work and sometimes procrastination seem to be the easiest thing to do. Just remember, that by putting things off and not deciding, you have actually made a choice.”

To be coached is an active choice. if any of the above rings true for you and you actively want to be coached, then why not give me a call to set up a free consultation. nicole@tikumu.co.nz

16 Feb

Successful businesses are flexible businesses

Many people can think ahead three, five or maybe even ten years, and talk about what they hope their life will look like at that point. Some will also have a specific business or personal long term goal. Even fewer though, will have a plan as to how they will achieve those goals.

Why does this occur? Why do people become less confident with their action plans? It is as if they have put all their eggs into one basket and then start praying that they don’t drop or lose the basket. Why do so many people follow this high-risk strategy?

The challenge lies in the action planning. There is never just one way of achieving something. People become set in their ways of how they can achieve their long term goals that they put on their blinkers, dig in their heels and convince themselves that the one plan they have come up with is the only way to achieve their end goal.

Picture yourself taking  a road trip to your favourite beach holiday home. On the way you encounter road works and unfortunately a detour. It will add 30 minutes  to your trip, but you will still get to the holiday house, just a bit later than expected.

This above example is the reality of the situation and what actually happens with goal setting and planning the way forward. The holiday home is your end goal and the road route is your plan. Sometimes there will be detours and roadblocks in the road, but there will always be an alternative route. You just have to be open to the idea of looking for alternatives and accepting that deviations do occur.

The slippery slope to becoming unsuccessful in achieving the end goal starts when people refuse to see alternatives. They get stuck at the road block and instead of following the detour route they wait, expecting the roadblock to magically disappear so they can continue on the set route.

By becoming so set in your ways and believing in only one route you can prevent yourself from ever achieving your goal. That’s why people often give up quickly. The first plan didn’t work, so they convince themselves that they have failed and the long term goal goes back to being a beautiful dream of something they would like to have, but deep down feel they will never achieve.

Reviewing different plans or routes  is not a sign of failure, it is a sign of being comfortable with change and being open to alternative thinking. Those are the traits of successful people. Its not just about the plan.

Need professional coaching assistance? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz

12 Jan

Have you eaten your frog today?

The beginning of a new year is often filled with great optimism, big plans, bravado and the obligatory new year’s resolutions. Where we are surrounded with positive energy and “can do” attitudes, it does naturally make it easier to start setting goals and looking forward to great successes during the new year. This is also a really good time to get into the habit of eating your frog on a regular basis.

Frogs, not the green slimy webbed-foot amphibious kind, are items on your to-do list that have been there for far too long. Items that keep getting demoted to the bottom of the list and eventually take on the identity of a large, ugly, wart-infested toad that no-one wants to handle.

The problem with these frog goals is that they cannot be removed from the list, since they are tasks that do actually need to be completed. Completed tasks that could benefit your business or life. Having them on the to-do does in some small weird way makes us feel better. By just having these frogs on the list means something is being done. Right? Don’t fool yourself. Having “paint your house” on the to do list, does not make a beautifully painted living room. Learn to eat your frog! Start getting into the habit of eating your frog.

How do you do this?

  1. Start off small. Select a frog task off your list, which you know if you had to actually do it it would take you a day or a few hours to complete.
  2. Schedule that task for the following day. Earlier the better.
  3. Do it and don’t over think it.
  4. Celebrate. Acknowledge your success and use that feeling of success to motivate you to eat the next frog breakfast.

After you have finished the frog, select the next frog off the list and repeat the cycle. Eventually you will get into the habit of eating the frog everyday and you’ll probably start enjoying it. Challenge yourself. Eat the frog!

22 Dec

Postive mindsets are key to goal achievement

One of the most common reasons why some people don’t succeed in achieving their goals is that deep down inside they are telling themselves “I can’t do it”. People can be their own worst enemies and sabotage a perfectly good and achievable goal by telling themselves they cannot do it.

So much energy is wasted on coming up with the most creative reasons for not achieving. “I’m not clever enough. I’m not good enough,  I’m not fit enough, young enough, experienced enough, rich enough.”  The list goes on.

I hear this type of negative talk often. People believe that if they justify why they cannot achieve something then its okay to not work towards a goal. All that the negative speak and excuses do is set you up to fail, or make it very difficult to succeed. Why do people put themselves through this type of stress? Is it to have the last word, “I told you so” after you failed or is it to stay in their comfort zone?

A postive, motivated and enthusiastic mindset is one of the essential traits to have in order to achieving our goals. The will to succeed. The journey that takes place between establishing a goal in the beginning to actually achieving it at the end can be very long, lonely, frustrating and bumpy with many obstacles, road blocks and distractions.

Here are some tips on how to successfully achieve your goals:

  1. Ensure that the goal you set out to achieve is your own goal and that you are clear on the purpose of why you are achieving this goal.
  2. Be realistic about your goal deadlines and understand that there will be many lows in your journey before the highs of success kick in. Yes, be realistic.
  3.  Positive affirmations can be labelled as being “fluffy” at times, however, what affirmations do for you is that they focus you and gently force you to think positively about your goals and what it takes to achieve them, even if you are not feeling very motivated. By implementing this practise on a daily basis you build a positive routine into your day. Take 10 minutes a day to implement this essential habit. You will thank me.
  4. Surround yourself with supporters. You may be the most positive individual that you know, but it helps to have people around you who believe in you and who can support you when you need it. They could be family, friends, colleagues, a club or networking group. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals to make the journey easier.
  5. Hire a coach. This could be a sports coach, life coach or business coach. Partner with someone who will hold you accountable, keep you on the straight and narrow, remind you of why you want to achieve the goal and challenge you.

Just think if your energy was channeled towards achieving the goal instead of thinking up excuses of why you can’t do something, how much would you actually accomplish?

Need assistance? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional coaching.