Are you stopping to breathe? We all need time to stop, rest, and reflect on things of importance.

This is a great season to do so for many reasons.

Take some time to reflect on the major areas of your life with gratitude over the next few weeks.

  1. Spiritual
  2. Relational, especially your family
  3. Service to others
  4. Emotional health
  5. Physical Health
  6. Financial Health
  7. Your vocation

Hit pause for just a bit and think and reflect. It is important for the overall health of your life.

Breathe for a few minutes!

If you are like me, I thoroughly enjoy learning from others about leadership and I have found one of the best ways to learn from them is to read their books.

On the site, I have listed many of my favorites. Check out my Leadership Books.

I would also appreciate your suggestions as to others I need to add!

do you have the right focus?

November 27, 2017

Do you have the right focus? This is a question I struggle with, as so often, when my focus is off, it can lead me down paths that are not helpful.

Basically it comes down to is our focus on what we have or what we don’t have?

A focus on ourselves and what we don’t have often leads to discontentment, resentment, bitterness, and a “takers” type mentality.

A focus on others and how we have been been blessed often leads to gratitude, contentment, fulfillment, joy, and a “givers” mentality.

The thing is – it is a simple choice as to what attitude you adopt. What is your choice today?


Communicating effectively with family and friends is incredibly difficult as we all know. When it comes to a leader trying to communicate with their team, it seems to become exponentially more difficult!

At one point in my career, I was the chief of staff for a very intelligent CEO. He is one of those people who seems to have an idea a minute and thinks out loud. The problem for his directors was that they often did not know if he was giving them direction, asking them for their opinions, or just expressing an idea. One of my roles as chief of staff was to “interpret” messages sent between the directors and the CEO. Many times I would walk into the CEO’s office and say something along the line of “Chris is beginning to implement XYZ that you discussed the other day in your office—is that really what you want to do?” Often the CEO would look at me a bit confused because he did not even remember what he had said; he had no intention for Chris to do anything at all. At other times, I would have to go to a director’s office and tell them that the CEO really did want them to follow through on what he said and that it wasn’t just an idea. As you can imagine, things got a bit confused at times, which often resulted in wasted effort and unnecessary frustration.

Fortunately, we had a relationship with the company Ambassador Enterprises, LLC, which has a brilliant CEO who also seems to have an idea a minute. The difference is that they have developed a powerful tool to clarify their communications, which has greatly improved their effectiveness. That tool is called “The Five Levels of Communication.”

Level 1—An Idea. Throw an idea into the hopper; no action required.

Level 2—A Suggestion. The leader has thought about an idea and would like you to think about it as well.

Level 3—A Recommendation. The leader has thought about the idea a good bit and wants you to consider implementing it unless there is a good reason not to do so. A recommendation may be appealed.

Level 4—A Directive. As it suggests, the leader wants action taken unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. A directive may be appealed.

Level 5—A Mandate. This is the equivalent of the house is on fire and get out. No questions, no appeal—just do it. This is very rarely used.

When we implemented this system, or way of talking, at our organization, the level of misunderstanding was greatly lowered. I use this approach often now and always to a good result.

It is vital that leaders communicate clearly to their teams. Using this framework, this way of talking, will greatly help achieve that needed clarity. The result is more effective teams and a more effective organization.

BG Allen
Executive Coach

do your leaders need coaching?

invisible people

November 9, 2017

Who are the invisible people in your organization? Who is it that we take for granted or even think unimportant in our organizations?

The housekeepers, groundskeepers, admin assistants, or others?

We need to change the way we view others in what we call menial jobs. All honest work is honorable and those doing that work are to be honored. The people doing this work are vital to our success as an organization. Think about it – what if your building or office was not clean, what if the HVAC quit working, what if your grounds were unkempt, what if your reports were not put together in a professional manner? Do you think your business would suffer?

Look at them and see them as people that want & need your encouragement – today. They are often the quiet linchpins doing the unglamorous things that hold everything else together.

Let us honor people doing honorable work.

BG site on Organizational Health

“How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them” – Adam Bryant