Four Principles to Make Intra-preneurs Out of Your Stars

Take your star employees to the next level–make them intrapreneurs! It’s those folks in the organization who are embued with an entreprenerial spirit–we call them Self-Starters. Ignite their talent so that they can take their vision and passion for your company and its products to new heights! Perhaps a better way to do something in your company? A more efficient process? A way to make money with a new product or service?

To create that intrapreneurial culture within the organization, take them back to the basics, then unleash them with the resources and support to go for it!

Perseverance Trumps Adversity

Follow these steps, identified as Success Factors of successful intrapreneurs:

  1. Start Now. Share your vision with these talented folks–a vision of what you want the company to achieve. I am stunned by the number of individual contributors that I meet in my work who do NOT have a clue what the oganization’s vision is! The vision doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
  2. Then task them to integrate the company’s vision into their personal vision of the work they want to do.
  3. Paint your passion in vivid colors for them. Why is passion important here? How does it show up on a regular basis? Could you point to it, if you saw passion being demonstrated?
  4. Create a support system so that if things get tough and obstacles appear, you have a system to tackle those challenges to move forward. Perseverance is one of the keys to success.

At Self-Starter Zone, we’re here to help you take that talented bench to success. We can help them reach them full potential, and turn them into high performers. Find out more at Self-Starter Zone ( Seriously, start now.

Leaders and Self-Starters

We know that self-starters are initiators; they don’t wait to have everything mapped out for them. They see a problem, they solve it. They see a decision to be made; they make it.

Those are also qualities necessary to be a leader. That’s why we can confidently say that all leaders are self-starters. I had the immense privilege to be interviewed by Convergence Coaching about my views about leadership. Here is the interview:

We met Julie Miller, founder and president of Business Writing That Counts! at a Washington Society of CPAs Women’s Conference. We were so impressed with her message that we invited her to participate in our Leadership Spotlight series.

Dr. Julie has founded two businesses: Business Writing That Counts! where she and her team help clients achieve their professional goals by reducing writing time while increasing productivity. Her mission is to increase her clients’ bottom line by eliminating bad writing. The company specializes in working with corporations, organizations, and educational institutions to improve the quality of written communication.

The second business is Self-Starter Enterprises, LLC. Her goal is to show professionals and the companies that employ them, how to take their high potential and turn into high performance. She does this work through keynote speeches, Success Sessions, assessments and coaching. The result? Engaged employees who will positively impact the bottom line.

We are excited to share Julie’s insights on effective leadership in the business world.

ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why? WomanLifeCoach

JM: Hewlett-Packard CEO, Meg Whitman. She is collaborative, supportive and relationship-centric; all good qualities that women bring to the workplace. She is also a good listener and actively participates in the running of the business. Whitman is a firm believer in influencing relationships with her employees and not controlling them. There are three leadership strands that Whitman used at her job as CEO of EBay.

First, she realizes she cannot control the buyers. Second, she believes people are basically good. And, third, she often says, “I don’t know everything.” Listening to your employees and getting their input is invaluable.

ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?

JM: Vision. Without a crystal clear vision expressed by its leader, an organization quickly becomes rudderless. Strong passionate visions can sustain the company through tough times, can keep everyone focused on what’s important, and can create deeper loyalty and engagement.

ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?

JM: Passion and the ability to execute. Strong work ethic, empathy and agile thinking are also at the top of my list.

ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?

JM: By giving employees opportunities to explore leadership roles; through being a role model; presenting opportunities for personal and professional development; through mentoring.

ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?

JM: Discover your passion—what is it that you truly love to do at your job? What task/skill set energizes you? Where have you been rewarded, recognized or awarded? The answers to these questions help future leaders to utilize their strengths, and allow them to take on an initiative or project that would positively impact the company AND make them shine.

ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?

JM: Nurturing, goal-oriented, continuous learner. I believe that when employees’ talents are discovered and directed, you have engaged people who work at honoring their potential. I strongly believe in creating team and individual goals and attaining them. And, lastly, to paraphrase Peter Block, author and consultant, if you are not learning every day in your business—get out. I take that statement to heart.

At ConvergenceCoaching, LLC we believe that true leaders never really “arrive” and we couldn’t agree more with Julie about the importance of finding your passion and then continuously learning and improving in that area. What are you passionate about? What are you doing to expand your knowledge and sharpen your skills in that area?

Best Regards, Michelle Baca

People can change through vision, says Pete Carroll, coach of the Super Bowl winners

Do you think that Pete read my book?! Pete Carroll, coach of the 2014 Super Bowl winners, was featured in today’s The Seattle TimesSeahawksCoach Carroll believes strongly in developing his employees to their highest level of performance.

He also believes strongly in the power of VISION for individuals and companies. The proof? Just look at how they won the Super Bowl—a contest that was to be an easy win for the Broncos. You know the story.

But, do know that the Seahawks are a Self-Starting organization with VISION, PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE as key indicators of their success.

How about YOU? Your organization? Does everyone share the same vision?

Is Simon Sinek copying me?

Positive Attitude MonthSimon Sinek, thought leader and author, sent out an inspirational statement today: Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.  I think he’s either copying me or maybe, he is even reading my blog? In any event, you know that self-starters possess three fundamental success factors: Passion, Vision, and Perseverance. These three need to be clearly aligned with the company’s vision and passion. That’s when miracles happen, goals are achieved, accomplishments realized. That’s when you have employees that love their work and their company.

Check out my blog about the car rental company to see what happens when these success factors are NOT in play.



Transistions Require the Big Three

Can or Can't Toggle Switch Committed to Solution AttitudeLife does not go in a straight line. What we plan for doesn’t happen; what we didn’t plan for does! Be it divorce, parents’ death, kids leaving the nest, a firing, a promotion, leaving the military, turning another decade—life just keeps coming at us.

These life events usually involve reflection—whether it’s “What now?” or “Oh, boy!” –about what these occurrences mean to your life, your career, your business, your future.

We firmly believe at that going back to the basics, focusing on the Big Three—Passion, Vision, and Perseverance—will hold you in good stead. It means thinking through:

1. What does your new vision look like, feel like, sound like? Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Where are you sitting, living, working?

2.  In the past, what talents or strengths have been awarded or rewarded? Those talents and strengths are what will give you energy and enthusiasm. If you’ve lost your way, reach out to family and friends and ask them: When you think of me, what words/strengths/talents comes to mind? In those answers, you will find or renew your passion.

3. If you have passion and vision firmly aligned, adversity and obstacles that step in your way will be easier to confront. Put a group of advisors together, hire a coach, find a mentor who can help you over, through and around the rough patches.


NO Surprise! Self-starters at Nordstrom

In the Northwest, Nordstrom is a beloved company—it started here and thrives here. Their customer service is legendary. When you walk into one of the stores, you expect to receive good service; but exemplary service requires a shout-out to the employee and the company! 

You know by now—and my self-starter interviews support it—that self-starters are alive and well in all kinds of workplaces, contributing to their companies in all kinds of ways.
Meet Andrew in shoes, Nordstrom self-starter! Tall, professionally dressed and approachable. 

I’m always in a hurry and have limited time; I was on the hunt for a pair of boots. Now I’m fashion kind of person, so they needed to be warm, attractive and reasonably priced. Done!

But the part of the experience that was the stand-out was Andrew’s seamless approach to solving problems: They didn’t have my size. I had to fly the next day.

Without skipping a beat, he found the shoes, asked for the hotel’s address and confirmed they would be delivered BEFORE I arrived at the hotel!

Andrew: self-starter. Works with passion and vision, and perseveres to get to the goal.

PS: It’s no wonder — He’s already been recognized by the company several times!

Vision is just imagination if . . .

A BNY Mellon ad this morning in The Wall Street Journal (September 5, 2013) caught my eye. “Vision is just imagination if you aren’t prepared to act.” That’s certainly part of our mission: to get professionals to see their vision and then move forward with passion and perseverance. That’s what separates us from Self-Starters; self-starters move forward whether they’re scared, tired, discouraged or enthused. One foot in front of the other—progress.

Propelling you to the fastest, strongest YOU

Success Secret Number 3: Perseverance

Today, I heard the story of an amazing survivor, Major Joe Crecca, from the POW camps in Vietnam. Joe flew F-4C Phantoms and was shot down, captured and spent his time in the “Hanoi Hilton.” Tortured and starved, he was released six years later in 1973, and went on to work for Federal Express as a pilot. Now in his late 60s, he has a uplifting story to tell.

What was so remarkable is that he focused his comments around one of the three Success Secrets of all self-starters: Perseverance. And boy, did he self-start! He taught classes to other POWs;  formed cooking groups; kept up the morale ofothers; and communicated regularly with Senator McCain! His motto was “Press on.”

His riveting story ended it with this quote from Calvin Coolidge. “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

I offer this to you–Persevere in your dreams. Grab ahold of your vision,. Lasso your passion, and press on!

Where have you perservered in the face of adversity?




What Success means to 71% of your employees!

It turns out not much, as 71% of your employees are NOT engaged! just ran an interesting, rather short piece about this 71 percent.

Gives you pause, doesn’t it? Check out the infographic to get a snapshot of the reasons why. And, then take a look at what drives engagement initiatives!

Was someone looking over my shoulder when they wrote this? Because this is what we at Self-Starter Zone are telling companies–Companies succeed when they take their leaders from high potential to high performance. That’s the sweet spot; that’s the spot where excitement, engagement, creativity occurs. That’s how you get unprecedented results.

And, how do you do this? By getting your employees to not just goal-set, but really look deep and get their vision aligned with the company’s goals; get their passion aligned with the company’s passion. Then everything is possible.

Successes, achievements just start pouring in. Goals are realized; miracles happen. Jumping over, through and around obstacles is a snap! Because your employees know why they are persevering, despite the setbacks and issues that arise. They ARE engaged.

Agree? Disagree? Your thoughts?




Looking To Get A Jump On Your Life?

Looking to get a jump on your life?It’s summer. It’s hot, and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. But, is it really the heat that’s affecting your energy? Or could it be a lack of motivation? Many of us simply use weather, or the time change, as an excuse for dragging our feet—because it works for us! But, truth be told, it doesn’t matter what the morning temperature happens to be. If we are excited about our future, our vision, our life… we are leaping out of that bed, ready to seize the day with the energy of a charging bull!

We all need help igniting the inner fire at one time or another, no matter how skilled we are at being a Self-Starter. Here’s an idea: Write about an incident in the past where you were motivated to jump on an opportunity and take your bull by the horns, then apply what you learned to help you leap into your tomorrow mornings and ignite the Self-Starter in YOU!

Need more help? Check out our Ignition Programs for Self-Starters.