Category Archives: Lois Carson

Leadership Strategy- The Power of WHY

Lois Carson

Lois Carson


Are you looking for a way to inspire yourself and others? Whether you’re leading yourself, a team or a whole organization, being able to inspire and motivate is a key to success.

Recently, I heard someone give a talk on High-Impact Goals as a tool for creating meaningful success. A key point she made was that to be successful, you need to be clear on the WHY of your vision and your goals. This is where your passion comes in. WHY is what you want to do important? – to you, to your company, to society? What is your driving purpose, your cause, your belief? What gives you passion? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? WHY does your organization exist? Put passion in your actions with WHY.

Starting with WHY inspires rather than manipulates. Great leaders are able to inspire people to act. Giving them a sense of purpose makes others want to follow willingly. Pulling together a team of like minded people and giving them a cause to pursue ensures a greater sense of teamwork and camaraderie. People are more likely to work hard when they trust their boss has their best interest and feel like they’re working for something bigger than themselves.

Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, is a great resource to understanding the role WHY plays in being influential and successful in all sizes and types of organizations.   It can also apply to your personal life. You can get a good overview by checking out his TED Talk.

Figuring out your WHY can be challenging for some. Sinek’s book has some great examples that will help you understand this concept and where the HOW and WHAT fit into the picture. Once you know your WHY, you need to know HOW to do WHAT. A good balance is important. Understanding your WHY is also important in creating your brand and marketing.

Discover and use your WHY. It’s a powerful tool for inspiring and leading your team. If you need some help figuring this out for your nonprofit organization, an ECofOC coach will be a great help to you through individual executive coaching or with you and your Board in Strategic Planning. Connect at

Author:  Lois Carson, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

The Golden Rule of Leadership

Lois Carson

Lois Carson


As a leader do you ever wish your employees would do this or that? If you have a supervisor, do you day dream that your boss would this or that? I’m sure we’ve all had these thoughts at some point.

It’s common for people to have an expectation of what they would like from someone. That brings up the question of how to get what you want from others. When you were growing up, did your parents teach you The Golden Rule? I know I’ve heard it many times. It goes something like this, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” Recently I heard Deepak Chopra say it a little differently in a meditation, “I attract what I am.”

Let’s think about how this can apply to you as a leader in business. Think about what might be missing for you in relation to the people you work with. What are you “wishing” someone would do? When you’re feeling you want more of something from someone, then that’s what you should be giving to others.

Here are some examples:

If you want to be heard, listen.

If you want to be appreciated, give appreciation.

If you want “atta boys”, give recognition or “pats on the back” to others.

If you want more independence in your work, empower others to be independent.

If you want people to follow through with you, follow through with others.

If you want people to be on time to your meetings, be on time, start on time.

If you want people to do what you “said” to do, be clear and specific in what you say.

If you want to be kept in the loop, keep others in the loop.

If you want others to honor their word with you, be a person of integrity.

If you want people to be kind and considerate, be kind and considerate.

If you want to be respected as a leader, be respectful to others

.And most importantly, if you want to be loved, be loving.

Think about what you want and give it to others. This simple Golden Rule of Leadership will make a huge impact in your life, both at work and at home.

Author:  Lois Carson, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

The Blame Game

Lois Carson

Lois Carson


Have you ever played the Blame Game?   Maybe you have and you don’t even realize it!

Did you miss out on a promotion and blame your co-worker because he kisses up to the boss? Did you not get the funding you’ve been working on and blame it on xyz? Did you get laid off and say it’s because you’re too old or too? Do you dislike your job because of so and so?

When you blame others for your lack of happiness or success, you give up your ability to heal what’s wrong and to create the changes you want. Blame prevents you from taking responsibility for your life and leaves you powerless. When you hold someone else responsible for how you feel or what happens, you give up the power to change your life and create the success you desire. You are putting someone or something else in charge of your life. Think about it. Realize you are playing the game. Take your power back! Stop playing the Blame Game!

To shift this blame mentality or “change games”, imagine that you have achieved the success you want. You are confident that you have all the resources and abilities you need to get what you want. You trust that you are in the process of getting what you desire. Remember, what you think and believe are what you get. With this positive attitude for success, there is no reason to play the Blame Game.

It is important to use forgiveness to let go of holding others responsible for what goes on in our life. Forgiveness enables you to regain your power to take charge of your life and get what you need and want.

Author:  Lois Carson, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

LEADING A TEAM- 10 Tips to Success!

Lois Carson

Lois Carson






Charged with leading a team and not quite sure what to do? You are not alone. Let’s see what we can do to simplify this mystery.

Here are some tips on team leadership:

  1. Create and hold the vision. Let them know “where” they are going. A mission often tells the “why” of the vision, so share that too.
  2. Set clear, achievable goals. Be clear on expectations – the game plan and how you expect them to operate. Expect without inspecting. Provide appropriate resources, time and support. People develop loyalty when they feel that their needs are being considered.
  3. Provide clear, firm direction and guidance. Good leadership skills are like parenting skills in this regard. Also, give people a safe space to take on new challenges, grow and make mistakes.
  4. Positive reinforcement is another parenting skill that works great for leading and motivating teams. Provide praise when you notice things done “right” or for a job well done.       When it’s not, coach them without making a big deal out of it.
  5. Leverage people’s strengths.       This produces a team that is efficient and effective!
  6. Be an effective listener!       Focus on the person and listen for possibilities, what’s good about them and what they have to say, what they are committed to and with compassion when upsets occur. Ask clarifying questions if you’re not sure.
  7. Be proactive not reactive.       Erratic emotions are not productive at work or at home!
  8. Be a good role model, exhibiting passion and positivity. Your energy and excitement will motivate your team to attain the vision and accomplish the mission. 
  9. Walk the talk.       Your team will believe and trust in you when you have integrity.
  10. Team meetings – Bring the team together to plan, brainstorm, collaborate, update and have fun! Let them know how important they are to the success of the team and the company!

Author:  Lois Carson, Executive Coaches of Orange County,


Have you ever been in a tense situation?

Lois Carson

Lois Carson


You know you are getting old when your kids start to seem “wiser” than you are! This came to mind one day several years ago when I had some car trouble and my son and I were “stuck” at the repair shop waiting for the car to be fixed. I was obviously upset. He looked at me and said, “What’s good about this?” We actually came up with a pretty good list. At the top was that we got to spend some quality time talking and catching up. Since then, I’ve collected some other “Wise and Powerful Questions” that are worth sharing:


  1. What’s good about this?
  2. What can I learn from this?
  3. What’s possible?       What are the possibilities?
  4. What are the facts? Vs. What’s the story? (assumptions, interpretations)
  5. What am I responsible for?

When you find yourself or your team in a “situation” where there is an upset or even just some concerns, take a deep breath and ask one or more of these 5 questions. This will help gain perspective and insight. Most people feel a sense of lightness, optimism and focus as they read these questions, especially #1-3. Looking at possibilities really encourages creativity and teamwork, as well.

Separating facts and stories is a great self coaching exercise. People are very “creative” about using their interpretations/assumptions to make a “story” about what’s going on AND believing that this is the “truth”. Asking what the facts are and keeping these separate from the story is a very powerful insight.

Asking what you are responsible for helps you get clarity on your role in a situation so you are not blaming others, being a victim. It is also a tool for setting boundaries. People often feel like they have to do everything OR solve everything, when in reality it may not be their responsibility.

Make a copy of these questions and stick them in your wallet or other handy place. The next time a tense situation comes up, ask yourself one of these “Wise and Powerful” questions. I guarantee you’ll feel better!

Author:  Lois Carson, Executive Coaches of Orange County,