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Powerful Leaders are BOLD!


One of the competencies that allows‎ Powerful Leaders to coordinate action with others to generate quality results consistently over time is – they are BOLD!

Powerful Leaders Drive Action by:

Asking BOLD Questions

Making BOLD Requests

Making BOLD Offers

Making BOLD Promises


This week I would like to challenge you to practice being BOLD.

Pick one of the challenges and DO IT:

  1. Ask a BOLD Question to drive action.

Powerful leaders make BOLD declarations about how their future will be.

JFK – “By the end of the decade we will have landed the first man on the moon!”

John Hanke – “We will photograph every house in the world and provide Google Earth as a service to the world for free!”

Challenge #1: What is one thing that inspired you from this past weekend that can support you in achieving your goals for this week?


  1. Make a BOLD Request to a colleague to drive action.

A request is a commitment to have a future action performed by someone else, made by a committed speaker who is intentional, sincere, and willing to hold another accountable.

Challenge #2: Initiate a ‘Courageous Conversation’ (honest and intentional) by Friday at noon this week with a member of your team who is under-performing and give them feedback such that they leave the conversation inspired to act now.


  1. Make a BOLD Offer to drive action.

What is an OFFER? An offer consists of both a promise and request.

Example: Please get me a cup a coffee and I’ll show you how to install that application.

  • The Request: Please get me a cup a coffee.
  • The Promise: I’ll show you how to install that application.

Challenge #3: Call up a colleague this week and offer to support them in a key project that they are working on.


  1. Make a BOLD Promise to drive action.

A promise is a commitment for future action that will be carried out within a specific time frame by a speaker who is intentional, sincere, willing to be held accountable, and competent to deliver on the future (promise).

Additional generative properties (action-oriented) of a promise include:

  • A committed listener who is willing to hold the speaker accountable.
  • A “by when” (date and/or time) the promise is to be delivered.
  • A clear set of “Conditions of Satisfaction” that both parties agree on to fulfill the future (promise); these include specific details or options.
  • A shared obviousness or background about shared assumptions, standards, expectations, so that both parties are on “the same page.”
  • Complete choice: the speaker may revoke or negotiate a promise and the listener may reject the promise. Any choice ought to occur as close as possible to when a promise is made (and before its deadline) to preserve credibility.

Challenge #4: Tell your boss – My Team and I guarantee that the project will be done on-time and on budget by the end of the month, as you requested.


Be BOLD and Drive Action!


Think Like a Visionary


Powerful Leaders are visionary – they see the future possibilities and begin creating. Visionary leaders have the ability see further than others, and are able to leverage their support to coordinate action around themselves to bring their vision to life.

 “He who sees the furthest always wins!” – Eric Crowell

Some great examples of Powerful Leaders who built legacies on their “Vision” are: 

Henry Ford – The Founder of Ford Car Company

Henry Ford is one of the most well-known visionaries on earth. He is famous for his quote – “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Henry was on a mission to design and develop a simple, reliable and affordable vehicle for the average American. He recognized that cars were a luxury item that few could afford, and he envisioned a world where every American had the ability to purchase one.


Jerry Bruckheimer – The Creator of CSI TV Series

Jerry Bruckheimer created the CSI series back in 2000, a few years after the OJ Simpson trial. During the trial Jerry watched from afar as millions of people were glued to their televisions obsessed with the trial of the century. Like all visionaries, Jerry asked “Why”?

Why were so many people so interested in the trial?

Jerry realized that it went beyond celebrity; people were obsessed with the forensic investigation and the mystery of what would be uncovered. This foresight led to the development of the massively successful CSI franchise.


Ingvar Kamprad – The Founder of IKEA

Ingvar Kamprad may not be a household name in America, but his furniture business is – IKEA.

Ingvar was a natural born business man who saw an opportunity in the furniture industry. In 1948 Sweden, furniture was a luxury item that most people could not afford. This fueled Ingvar’s mission to develop and sell affordable, good quality furniture to the masses.


Steve Jobs – The Founder of Apple Inc

Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry with a vision of making computers accessible and affordable for all, and making electronics simple, elegant and easy to use.


Jeff Bezo – The Founder of Amazon.com

Jeff Bezo is the “King of E-Commerce”. With a passion for electronic retailing, Jeff saw the incredible growth of usage of the worldwide web in the 90’s and envisioned the possibilities of what could be; a place where consumers could go and find anything they wanted to buy.


Howard Schultz – The Pioneer of Starbucks

Howard Schultz’s passion for “enhancing the personal relationship between people and their coffee” sent him on a journey to transform how North America consumes coffee.


Walt Disney – The Founder of Disney Inc.

Walk Disney’s vision of creating a place for children and parents to have fun together was the beginning of Disneyland. With the simple mission “to make people happy”, Walk Disney saw what others could not – a magical park.


Bill Gates – The Founder of Microsoft

Bill Gates is famous for his vision of “a personal computer on every desk in every home.” Bill recognized the potential growth of home computers and fearlessly went forward. He saw a future where the average person could enjoy the flexibility of buying PC’s from many different hardware companies that would all run the same software.


Powerful Leaders Look at the Future Differently

Powerful Leaders have a different relationship to the “Unknown” than most people. Most people fear the “Unknown”; the lack of certainty and predictability makes them feel uneasy and creates a mindset of doubt.

Powerful Leaders view the “Unknown” with curiosity and intrigue. When curiosity overtakes fear – that is where the magic happens.

Going from “Fear of the Unknown” to “Curious of the Possibilities”:

  • Curiosity about “What if?” and “What could be” rather than fear
  • Desire to create something better than what is currently available
  • Studying trends that are emerging and recognizing what’s on the fringe (recognizing peoples behaviors and what that means on a larger scale)
  • Making client intimacy and strong relationships a real business priority
  • Getting “Market Smart” – understanding who in our market is winning and why
  • Communicating our “Differentiation Factor”
  • Designing multiple scenarios to embrace the future

Powerful Leaders have the ability to see further than others because they are fearless and unafraid of “The Unknown”. They embrace “The Unknown” and seek out the new possibilities it opens!

Challenge: Over the next 7 days make a note of every time you felt fear vs curiosity towards the future. Create a list of how you could turn that fear into curiosity and possibilities.

Are Your Blind-Spots Holding You Back?


We all have blind spots, but most of us are – as the saying goes – blind to them! The difference between good leaders and truly powerful leaders who get results is the awareness of blind-spots.

Powerful leaders are self-aware of their blind spots.

Developing the self-awareness to identify blind-spots usually isn’t organic, so the executive leadership coaches at Awesome Journey have developed a list of the Top 10 Blind-Spots we see the most with our clients:


  1. Being Stuck – We all get stuck sometimes. It’s that feeling of not being happy in your current situation, but being uncertain where to go next.

Powerful Leaders Know:

  • State of Awareness: they recognize that they’re stuck because they are self-aware of their emotional state (feel frustration or anger and a fight or flight state-of-mind).
  • State of Action: they move from being stuck back into action by asking for support from others in less than 24 hours.


  1. Asking for Support – Leaders tend to believe that they need to figure everything thing out on their own all the time.

Powerful Leaders Know: Vulnerability = Power and Action

  • Being able to say, “I don’t know” means they are curious to explore new possibilities.
  • They have a support network that is committed to holding them accountable to their big goals


  1. Emotional Triggers – It is important to understand how your environment affects you

Powerful Leaders Know: Being self-aware of what their emotional triggers are, gives them the power to shut them down and view situations from a more objective and positive mindset.


  1. Relationship to Language – What you say and how you say it matters. When your language is generative (action-oriented) vs. descriptive (not action-oriented) you speak with more intentionality and power.

Powerful Leaders Know:

  • Making clear requests of others leads to better outcomes
  • Using the language of accountability will generate action with others
  • Creating clear agreements with others leads to clarity of expectations and a stronger relationship
  • Designing every conversation with a clear intention of the desired outcome


  1. Relationship to Time – We all have the same amount of time each day, yet some people achieve more each day than others. When your relationship to time is proactive (planned) vs reactive (wing-it) you become the owner of your time.

Powerful Leaders Know:

  • What their time is worth per hour
  • Have a “Chief Accountability System” – they book time for their tasks and activities to turn promises into priorities because it is in their calendar


  1. Intentional Listening – When you understand how your listening impacts your interactions with others you are able connect to create.

Powerful Leaders Know: The power of listening with the intention to connect and co-create with others vs listening to fix problems


  1. Impact of Your Daily Practices – Daily practices are the routines we all have that set us up for success.

Powerful Leaders Know: How their practices keep them focused, productive and centered:

3 daily practices that are common for Powerful Leaders:

  • Meditation/Deep Breathing to support quality thinking time
  • Self-Reflection – what worked well today and what was a frustration today
  • Power of a Pause – when emotionally triggered they pause before they respond


  1. Coordinating Action through Others – No leader can do it all; at least not if they want to grow. Powerful leaders understand the power of delegation.

Powerful Leaders Know: When they delegate responsibilities to others they coordinate action by being:

  • Thorough with details
  • Creating clear agreements with others
  • Holding others accountable for their performance by following up in an appropriate time frame


  1. Negative Self -Talk – Everyone engages in negative self-talk occasionally. It is important to be aware of when you are doing it and how it impacts your daily performance.

Powerful Leaders Know:

  • What their dominate negative self-talk is – “I am not enough or I am right”
  • How negative self-talk can shut them down in any conversation
  • How to minimize it and bounce back


  1. Power of Their Personal Mission Statement – Your personal mission statement is your “Why” (why you do everything you do). You mission statement drives all your actions, so it is a very important statement.

Powerful Leaders Know: What their mission statement is and how they are living it.

Check out “Know Your Why” by Michael Jr.



List 3 blind-spots you have and how you could overcome them.


Great Leaders Have an Innovative Business Model: Part Two


In Great Leaders Have a Strategic Business Model: Part One we discussed the four components of a Strategic Business Model:

  • Client Value Proposition
  • Profit Formula
  • Key Resources
  • Key Support Structures

Now we want to look at some companies who have created Innovative Business Models that have challenged long-held, core beliefs about how to create value for their clients, and in the process revolutionized their industries.

NETFLIX: What if I could bring client videos via the web and charge them a monthly fee?

AMAZON WEB SERVICES: What if you didn’t need to own IT infrastructure to operate your business?

UBER: What if we transformed the pricing and the distribution model for people who utilize taxi services?

AIRBNB: What if we modernized the hospitality industry model by getting people to offer spare rooms in their homes as hotel rooms for daily rent via an extraordinary website?

APPLE: What if we revolutionized the retail experience for clients purchasing electronics?

ZAPPOS: What if we made it easy for “Professional Women, who don’t have time to go shopping, to buy their shoes online?”

WARBY PARKER EYEWEAR: What if we made it easy for anyone to buy quality eye glasses online for affordable prices?

TED TALKS & YOUTUBE: What if we made it easy for anyone to learn from experts online for free?

IKEA: What if we could make it easy for “People who live on a budget, and need space up and usable tomorrow”?

TARGET: What if people who shopped in discount stores would pay extra for designer products?



Set aside 4 hours with your Executive Leadership Team and challenge every component of your current Business Model to identify new ideas of how to new create value for your current and future clients.

Great Leaders Have a Strategic Business Model: Part One


What defines a great leader? Why do some businesses grow and prosper, while others get stuck and eventually disappear?

What’s the secret? Great Leaders differentiate their business in a crowded marketplace by intentionally designing a strategic “Business Model”.

At Awesome Journey we believe that a strategic “Business Model” has 4 key building blocks.

  • Client Value Proposition (CVP): “Why should a client buy from you?”
  • Profit Formula: “How will you create revenue and profit from your CVP?”
  • Key Resources: “What resources do you need to deliver your CVP?”
  • Key Support Structures: “People, Process, Practices and Tools that support the CVP”


  1. Define Your “Client Value Proposition”

To understand your “Client Value Proposition”, answer the following questions:

  • Who is your key target client?
  • What type of relationship does your company have with your client?

Personal (face-to-face)

Automated (through technology)

  • What is the job that the target client needs done?
  • What is your product and service offering?
  • What is your distribution method to reach your key target client?

Two key distribution methods are:

  1. Direct Distribution – a sales team or web based
  2. Indirect Distribution – through a franchise network, licensing agreement, partner stores and wholesalers


  1. Define Your “Profit Formula”

To understand your “Profit Formula”, answer the following questions:

a. What is Your Revenue Stream?

How does your company create revenue streams from your value propositions to your clients?

  • Transactional Revenue stream
  • Product sale
  • Recurring Revenue stream
  • Rent
  • Franchising
  • Licensing fee
  • Usage fee
  • Subscription
  • Leasing

b. What is Your Pricing Model?

Fixed Pricing Model

  • List price
  • Product feature dependent (dependent on uniqueness of your products)
  • Client segment dependent (dependent on uniqueness to target market)
  • Volume discount

Dynamic Pricing Model

  • Negotiation
  • Pricing is dependent on market conditions – Hotels room and airline seats – price depends on inventory and time of purchase
  • Auctions – pricing is determined by competitive bidding

Specific Pricing Models

  • Lowest cost through scale advantages
  • Lowest cost through scope and replication advantages
  • Premium prices due to unmatchable service
  • Premium prices due to propriety product features

c. What are Your Cost Structures?

  • Fixed costs?
  • Variable costs?
  • Economies of scale?


  1. Define Your “Key Resources”

What are your key resources that are required to deliver the “Client Value Proposition?”

  • People
  • Technology
  • Products
  • Assets – Equipment, Mineral rights, Real Estate
  • Reoccurring revenue streams
  • Equipment
  • Information
  • Partnerships/Alliances
  • Brand


  1. Define Your “Key Support Structures”

To understand your “Key Support Structures”, you need to determine – “do we have the right”:

  • People
  • Processes/Systems
  • Practices
  • Tools


Once you have a clear understanding of your Business Model, then the collaboration begins! Bring your team’s creativity and innovative mindsets together and see how you can alter your Business Model to differentiate your business and stand out in a crowded marketplace.



Sit down with your leadership team and find 5 – 10 gaps in your current business model to differentiate your business.



  1. “Reinventing Your Business Model”, by Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M.     Christensen, and Henning Kagermann (HBR paper – Dec 2008)
  2. “Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur (Book – 2010)
  3. “Are You Sure You Have a Strategy?” by Donald C. Hambrick & James W. Fredrickson (Academy of Management Executive – Nov 2001)
  4. “Disrupting Beliefs: A New Approach to Business-Model Innovation”, by Marc de Jong & Menno van Dijk (Mckinsey Quarterly – July 2015)

Are you stuck?


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Effective Leaders generate ACTION. You can measure effective leadership by the quality of action generated to produce specific results. So, when a company, team or organization is not achieving its goals, fulfilling its promises or producing results, I assert that it’s a lack of leadership due to its inability to generate ACTION! Absent conscious action, we find leaders reacting, or engaged in a analyzing why there’s not action – lots of activity, but no action and few results. Indeed, most find themselves stuck and do not know it.


What causes Leaders to be stuck?

Leaders get stuck when they move from being empowered to being entitled. In fact, we say they’ve become a VERB. Listen carefully; it is easy to hear a VERB.



I arrive for a client meeting and I am told that they have mis-scheduled my appointment. I leave upset so I call my assistant and blame her for not confirming the appointment and wasting my time.


A VERB is an acronym – a way of Being. It is who we become when we get stuck.

A VERB is an acronym for:

V = Victim – (This is a persistent complaint; no one appreciates me)

E = Entitlement – (I deserve ___________)

R = Rescue Me – (Someone needs to get me out of this mess)

B = Blame – (It’s not my fault, something’s wrong with you, them or it)


VERBS are enforced by your perceptions of how things “should” be. That little voice in your head that says: “There is a way things should be, and when they are, things are right. When they are not that way, something is wrong with you, them or it!”


A VERB finds you STUCK in this reinforcing thought:


Why did this happen to me? – What’s wrong? – Who’s to blame? (someone else or circumstances)?


Breaking free of your VERB mindset requires transforming your reinforcing thoughts with a new ACTION language:


What happened? – What’s missing? – What’s next?


What Happened? – If you are committed to action, observe only what was said or what was done. Notice if you begin to ask “why” something happened. That leads to an interpretation, not a fact. Focus again on just “What Happened?” Be aware of your interpretations. They move you into a story “about the facts”. Remember, your story will keep you stuck. To generate action, focus only on what was observable. Stop, pause, and declare: What happened? Next, look at the facts and what was actually said.



You are excited to share an idea with your boss. You stop by her office to share your cool idea and she says, “Not now, I am too busy to talk. Get back to me later!” You leave dejected. Immediately you begin to think, “She rejected me, or I feel lack of appreciation.” You might also think, “Why bother? My ideas are not important to my boss.”


Notice that you are now thinking about “what this means.” Stop, pause and return to “what happened?” In this example, what happened is what was said: “My boss said she was busy and to get back to her.”


What’s Missing? – Here you are concerned not with what is wrong (which is where most leaders go when a problem or failure occurs), you are focused on discovering what’s missing, which has something to do with a key conversation. Yes, fundamentally, a conversation for action is missing. Key conversations for action include a Request, a Promise or an Offer.



So instead of getting wrapped up in your own story, you simply make a clear request to your busy boss and ask, “When would be a better time for you and I to discuss my cool idea about marketing to new potential clients?” And your boss comes back with a promise to meet you at 3pm this afternoon. You walk away feeling engaged to share your cool idea with your boss at 3pm. You are excited.


What’s Next? – Again, what’s next is always a conversation that will forward action. Email a clear request to ask your busy boss for a time to meet to discuss your idea, “When can we meet this week to discuss my idea?”


Your leadership depends on your capacity to communicate action and create conversations that move things forward. Here, you are focused on creating action rather than focusing on your story about your boss. Remember, your story constitutes you as a VERB. Instead, a conversation for action generates results. By practicing the script, What happened? What’s missing? and What’s next? – you will find you become decisive, proactive and able to transform stuck into ACTION!

How self-aware are you when you are STUCK?

 Homework: For the next day count how many times you get – “Emotionally Triggered” during the day. This is a key indicator of being STUCK.


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