Monthly Archives

October 2017

The Millennials Coach


By | Business | No Comments

I have spent today in some fantastic sales training that really challenged me to think about the buying and selling process. During the day, the trainer tackled the topic of ‘objections’ including what they are, how to spot them, and how to tackle them; and it made me think more widely about both objections and rejections in our professional and personal lives.

Essentially an objection or a rejection can be put in to one of three categories:

  • I don’t like you
  • I don’t trust you
  • I don’t trust myself

No matter what an individual may say is their reason, the underlying issue can be put in to one of these three categories.

That potential customer who has told you that they need to go away and think about it before deciding? Likely to be for one of the three reasons.

That person you have been dating who has told you that they will call you and hasn’t? Likely to be for one of the three reasons.

You may be thinking: ‘Why is Sean telling us this? It already is frustrating that the customer has deferred the decision and now won’t meet with me again’ or ‘I already feel pain and stupidity for being vulnerable with someone who is now avoiding me.’ 

My trainer put it quite simply: Stop the Kisschase. Running after people in the vain hope that they will alter their behaviours through your persistence does not serve you. It depletes you of confidence and energy, and makes them anxious as they are trying to avoid having to face you and state the true, deep meaning for their behaviour.

So they don’t like you? There are plenty of other people that do connect/will connect with you.

So they don’t trust you? That’s their own issue to resolve.

So they don’t trust themselves? They need to understand what they are scared of being, or doing, or having by giving themselves self-trust. When they consider who do they may become by saying ‘yes’ to you may fill them with fear. Again, this is something that is not for you to try and fix for them.

If you know that in your personal or professional life that you have given your all, and you have made it really easy for someone to say ‘yes’, for them to fill their lives with possibility and positivity, and they choose to say ‘no’, then that is on them and not you.

Stop playing kisschase. Move on. There are people out there who need you in their lives so go and give them a reason to say yes and benefit from what you have to offer.

The Millennials Coach


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Those who know me or who have heard me speak will know that I go on about the ‘heart and soul’ of a business, of a leader, and of a team. For me, before any of these three can progress to any sustained level of success and profit, they need to be clear about what they stand for, and what is important to them. Later articles will talk about critical concepts such as vision and mission, but for today I want to focus on VALUES.

Values and beliefs are the cornerstone of who we are, and by extension, what our business is. We can see our values through the choices we make as well as the choices we don’t make; the people we choose to spend our time with, and the ones we don’t; the activities we do in our spare time, and the ones that we cannot motivate ourselves to do.

For any leader or entrepreneur, having a deep understanding of who we are is essential to any personal or business planning process. Our work is an extension of who we are – if we don’t lead or run a business in alignment with our values, we will become detached and disappointed quickly.

I have often been asked to state my values, and when setting up my own business, I was clear that I didn’t simply want a list of words to try and capture what I believe to be true. As a consequence my business has a ‘Statement of Beliefs’ or ‘Creed’ which was formed even before I tackled such topics as vision, mission, strategy, or tactics.

‘We believe in the potential of the millennial generation to bring about radical transformation within themselves, their businesses, and the wider communities in which they live and work.

We are the champions of a new way of leading and believe that all millennials have the capacity and desire to make profound, long-lasting change from which all profit.

We believe that by harnessing the talent of the millennial generation, the world will become one that is dominated by positivity, gratitude, and creative action.

We believe challenge, accountability, and encouragement will create a generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who can navigate unchartered waters with passion and focus, and make a future that is better and more fulfilling for humanity than anything that has come before.’ 

The way I crafted this statement is as follows, and I share the system with you to use as a gift:

1) Go out for a long walk somewhere that gives you peace and tranquility. Remove yourself from social media or ‘contactability’. Experience the world around you: hear the sounds, smell the air, appreciate the colour around you.

2) Whilst out, consider what really gets you positively passionate, and jot it down (I use positive passion rather than negative as a Statement of Beliefs should be about potential, capacity and everything that is good and positive in life).

3) Consider why you feel that this is your mission – what is it about these beliefs that make you get up every morning and choose to live how you do? What is it about them that keeps you driven and motivated, in spite of the challenges and obstacles of everyday life?

4) Write three or four sentences that clearly describe what you believe – use ‘We believe’ or something similar for each.

5) DON’T PLAY SMALL. As it was once famously observed, your playing small in the world benefits no-one. Use big language, be bold, be ambitious – this is the centre of who you are and what you want to do.

6) Get it down on paper and share it. Tell others about it, write about it (I’d love to see your drafts in the comments box). How does it feel when you share and talk about it? If you get that warming, positive sensation that spreads to a smile on your face you are close to hitting on the essence of who you are. If it doesn’t…DON’T PANIC! Revisit it and pick through each word: are there words that don’t quite fit? If so, replace them!

7) Keep re-iterating your statement until you feel complete and excited.

8) Begin to use it as your compass for life and business: make choices based on it, enter in to collaborative relationships that align with it, allow it to become a clear part of who you are, a way of describing you to the world.

I’d love to hear your views – do you use a Statement of Beliefs? If so, how does it guide what you do? If you don’t, give it a try and use the comments on here to post your draft out to the world!

I’m really excited to hear from you on a topic that is so close to my heart.


The Millennials Coach


By | Business | No Comments

If you are reading this and are about to make the move in to your first major leadership role, whether within your existing employer or somewhere new, exciting, and different…. CONGRATULATIONS!

How do you feel? Nervous? Apprehensive? Excited? Full of the energy you once had for your last job?

Your first significant leadership role is daunting. Full of ‘known unknowns’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ (to clumsily paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld), the role offers you the potential to really demonstrate the skills and attributes that you, and others have long believed you possess. Admit it – for some time, you have looked at leaders above you and thought: ‘I could do that’, ‘I could do that better’, ‘if I were in charge…

There’s nothing wrong with thinking those things at all, it is something that most workers experience; however, you are different to most – you have placed your head firmly above the parapet and chosen to assume that leadership role. That deserves credit and respect.

Nevertheless, credit and respect for accepting the job offer won’t get you through, and you know it.

Ever since you took the position you have written notes, created to-do lists, read a few articles on how to hit the ground running, and sought the opinions of others, but that internal interrogator is still posing questions that you seem unable to fully answer: ‘What do I do first?’ ‘Do I sell a big vision or start small?’ ‘How will I get them to listen?’, and most importantly if you have gained an internal promotion: ‘How do I get them to follow my lead and still like me, and invite me out to stuff?

Guess what? Leadership is tough.

Leadership is not straightforward.

Leadership often requires you think and act differently to how you behaved as a co-worker.

Leadership requires choices.

When you then reflect on the concept of the ‘honeymoon period’ as a leader, and consider the limited time frame in which your staff will give you an impartial and fair ‘go’ at the job, you really start to have concerns over whether you will succeed. This fear is further compounded if you have watched people enter your working environment as a ‘leader’ and fail to live up to expectations.

Pressure to have a good start to your new role is perfectly summed up by people who talk of ‘the first 100 days’ (or some variant). This term was originally coined within American politics and has been used to measure the success or failure of the start of every new Presidency. Just look at the succession of articles, videos, and blog posts that seek to judge whether President Trump had a successful 100 days; in fact, even he adopted this approach, publishing a list of actions he would take, and bills that would pass within 100 days of his assuming office. Having a 100-day plan gives the impression of clarity of thought, unity of the team, and speed of travel, which for a fixed term leader can help to ensure momentum and a control of the narrative. However, it does have risk attached – failing to meet the expectations set by the plan can lead to the impression of weakness, delay, and incompetence which can wound, if not fatally, a Presidency.

The concept of the ‘first 100 days’ has become popular within business for similar reasons as above. A new leader can draw a line under any previous ‘administration’ and set out their own direction of travel and way of doing business which, if in a role that requires the turnaround of a low morale, underperforming team, can help to bring a fizz that has been to now, missing. However, a 100-day programme needs to be well considered, well executed, and regularly monitored; I would argue that it should be more like 140 days, with 20 days either side: clear planning and the re-charge of your batteries before starting (pre-100 days), and evaluation and a ‘what next’ plan to help keep momentum (post-100 days).

The most effective leaders have recognised that they cannot do the PLAN-EXECUTE-EVALUATE process of a 140-day plan in isolation – a coach or mentor is of real value to help the new leader understand who they are, what they want to bring to the role, and what can be achieved/can’t be achieved. Too often, a new leader attempting to plan alone will be over-ambitious, and will also assume that the goodwill of their new team will last forever, and this causes trouble down the line. However, by having an external individual who can challenge and champion, a new leader is more likely to be able to demonstrate authenticity, articulate shared values, and infuse proposed actions in to an overarching vision of a future filled with possibilities for their team.

If you are about to embark on your new leadership challenge now is the right time to really understand how a 140-day plan can work for you.

Don’t allow yourself to think that a couple of ‘to-do’ actions and enthusiasm can get you to where you want to go. 

Think about what you would want your team to say about you, and what it was like to be in your team, when they come to speak at your leaving party.

Adopt the ‘fixed term’ mentality of American politics: recognise that you will not be the leader forever, and that you can make real impact quickly providing you PLAN PROPERLY, EXECUTE EFFECTIVELY, and EVALUATE THOROUGHLY.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and any experiences you may have had as a new leader; you can engage with me on here, on twitter and facebook, or by emailing me:

Good luck, and keep leading and learning!