Personal Growth

Assessing Promotability


For those who believe that they are getting ready to be promoted, it is wise to understand what are called “limiting behaviors.” These are the blind spots that all people have to one degree or another and the
ability to acknowledge that they exist is often the biggest limiting behavior of them all.

Organizations often employ leadership assessment tools to help managers identify and prioritize their own developmental opportunities. While not 100% infallible, they do contain insight. When combined with 360-degree multi-rater feedback, they can feel downright oppressive!

What do organizations look for in a “promotable” person? Below are “Eight Universal Competencies”
and their associated skills from one of my favorites multi-rater tools, CheckPoint 360°™ from Profiles International. The feedback is usually from a group of 15 - 20 people who have had direct interaction with the person under consideration for promotion.

An honest, objective self-assessment might be very useful. Begin by asking yourself how well you might be doing in these areas:

1.     Communication – Skills associated with communication include: How well the person
“Listening to Others”, “Processing Information” and “Communicating Effectively.”

2.     Leadership - Skills associated Leadership are: How well they “Instill Trust, “
Provide Direction” and “Delegate Responsibility”

3.     Adaptability - Skills associated Adaptability are: How well they “Adjust to Circumstances”
and the ability to “Think Creatively.”

4.     Relationships Skills associated Relationships include: “Building Personal Relationships”
and “Facilitating Team Success.”

5.     Task Management – Skills associated Task Management include: How well they Work Efficiently and “Work Competently”

6.     Production – Skills associated Production include: How well they “Take Action” and
“Achieve Results”

7.     Development of Others - Skills associated the Development of Others include: How well
they “Cultivate Individual Talents” of others and “Motivates Others Successfully.”

8.     Personal Development - Skills associated Personal Development include: How well they
“Seek Self-Improvement and “Display Commitment” to personal growth.


How did you do?

“To Grow Patience”

 Pa·tience (pāSHənst) noun. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Patience is a Virtue.

It was a great time, a week-long trip to the Midwest. We were out of town seeing family and friends. It was very relaxing to the point of distraction. As we drove to ORD, we mused about just what a great trip it had been.  I was heading home with an important early meeting the next day. Spouse had planned some extended time away to visit more family in Michigan. Time to Kiss & Fly. She went to her gate. I went to mine. It was Sunday and all was right with the world (so far).

About 30 minutes after wheels up, it occurred to me that the spouse had the car keys to the one car at the airport I was arriving at. My spouse also had the only set of house keys with us on the trip. Thought to myself, “Oh Gosh darn-it”, I am at a bit of a disadvantage here, (not in exactly those words but you get the idea).

I landed and attempted to call the spouse when the cell phone started continuously re-booting, for reasons I still cannot explain to this day. I had to habitually log in to get a call out in the one-minute window of time the “smart” phone would acknowledge my existence. Once again thought, “Well gosh darn-it here”

The good news? It wasn’t raining and there were options. Okay, got through to the Spouse and explained the predicament. The spouse was going to call the locksmith, from Michigan, on my behalf. Before I could explain that it wasn’t necessary, yep my phone re-booted.

Took the car service home - $75. Sat on the front porch, on my black roller bag, realizing the world was spinning around at 25,000 mph and really not caring much. We had about :90 minutes of daylight left.

My neighbor walked by and I used their cell phone to call my spouse to exchange mutual pleasantries. Then I called the locksmith. The locksmith, of course, could help me for a premium fee on Sunday late afternoon. Okay, it seemed like a solution was finally in sight. The locksmith arrives, the same one who installed the original locks on the house, with about 45 minutes of daylight left. Ah, how good that hot shower was going to feel!

He got there and said, “Hmm, I have never seen these before”. After about :30 minutes of “lock-smithing” he was not able to gain entrance. I thought, “Gee golly gosh, we have some really great locks on our house. Not even the locksmith can get past them”. Indeed, how truly fortunate we were!

So, slowing down, we (the locksmith and I) enjoyed a beautiful sunset all the while I contemplated which window to break to gain entrance. And it was a beautiful sunset! It was an amazingly beautiful celestial canopy, a unique tapestry of spectacular colors and hues, a veritable cornucopia of colors designed specifically for this time and this place. Even the lock-smith was impressed.

My phone rang, yep that same demon possessed phone that was about to put me over the edge. It was my spouse calling to exchange more mutual pleasantries and to remind me that it would be preferable not to break any windows. (What we used to call in the “old days” a real bulletin!). I reminded my spouse that we had both been up since o-dark hundred and that after such a long and rewarding day how much I was looking forward to that hot shower.

Then it occurred to me, Stop, Focus, Think and Study the windows. What? Study the windows. I thought “Well Gosh darn-it here”, we did have excellent Pella windows with great locking mechanisms, guaranteed to keep out whatever you don’t want in, (short of breaking the window). While the apologetic lock-smith looked on, I studied the windows. “Which one doesn’t belong here”?

And sure enough, they all pointed the same way except for one window. That window was over the kitchen sink. It as well off the ground, but being tall it was no problem for me to reach. All we had to do was to carefully loosen up the outside screen and Viola! I called my spouse from the landline inside the house and said to ignore any process servers headed in their direction as it was all a big misunderstanding.

Procedures are now in place to never replicate such a moving experience. To quote PJ O’Rourke, “have not had this much fun since seeing the entire Mexican air force wipe out into a liquid petroleum field.”

Morale of the story - To Grow Patience:

1. Slow down. If you have the tendency to rush around and try to hurry things up, want things done immediately and can't wait for things to take their natural course, STOP.

2. Practice delaying gratification. When you want to reach for that quick solution, stop and think about it first. You can save yourself some aggravation.

3. Practice thinking before you speak. At times we blurt out the first thought that comes into our heads without considering the consequences. If we're patient, pause and go over what we want to say, we can avoid hurting or offending others.

4. Make patience your goal for an entire day. Make a concerted effort to take your time and think about everything you do, be mindful and live in the moment. Developing patience is much like physical exercise because it requires persistence and effort.


Happy New Year! Wow, 2016 flew by and now it is 2017. It is a year that has been on my mind for many years. My oldest daughter graduates high school and will start college this fall. It is both an exciting year and a bit sad that our first child will not be here daily in the fall. However, this is the desired outcome that we hoped for and planned for since she was a baby. Thus, we are going to have multiple celebrations this year for this accomplishment.

I hope you had a great holiday!  I know many of you are debating whether you should set resolutions this year.  Many of us find resolutions so hard to stick to and we come away from the process feeling worse about ourselves. Thus, I would recommend that we do it a bit differently. First, let’s take a moment to look at 2016.  Here are a few questions for you to ponder. It is okay to go away for a while and answer these questions. I will still be here when you get back!

What were your greatest successes in 2016?

What are you most proud of from 2016?

What did you learn the most about yourself in 2016?

What goal did you not accomplish in 2016?

If you could have a do over in 2016, what would you have done differently?

Okay, hopefully you had some interesting insights and maybe took a few notes on 2016. Now, I would like to do an assessment with you called The Wheel of Life. 



The above diagram is one of my favorite tools to use with my coaching clients.  Feel free to add or subtract categories—you might not care about physical environment and you might really care about spirituality. It is your wheel so create it to meet your needs.  Write a score from 0 (low; need to do a ton of work in this area) to 10 (high; things are about perfect here.) Now, notice your scores. Are you pleased with your scores? What stands out for you?

This is where we move to desired outcomes. Given your scores, what would you like your wheel to look like at the end of 2017? Here are some thoughts for developing your desired outcomes.

What are 1-2 areas you would like to focus on in 2017?

Set some specific outcomes (SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).

What barriers do you anticipate facing that may keep you from hitting your outcomes?

What strengths do you have to help you overcome your barriers?

Who can be your accountability partner?

How will you celebrate each of your desired outcomes?

I am curious about your thinking. Are you excited about 2017? Nervous? Optimistic? All are possible and probably appropriate. My hope for you is that you are intentional and plan out some of the year for yourself. I think the danger of resolutions can be that you either achieve the resolution or you do not. I believe desired outcomes leave more gray area and more possibilities while leveraging your strengths. I wish you the best of luck, patience and joy for 2017. Let us know how you are doing and if we can help you in any way. Here’s to an awesome 2017 filled with many amazing outcomes!


Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at a professional healthcare conference attended by leaders from three states.  My topic was great and I was jazzed about presenting it.

The speaker preceding me was a young man named Matt Jones.  Matt is a three-time cancer survivor whose story has been featured in national magazines and on TV shows.  While a senior in college, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and given less than 10% chance of survival.

After developing a fever, Matt slipped out of consciousness.  Unsure if he would make it through the night, doctors had family and friends called.  Matt not only survived but, one year after finishing chemotherapy and relearning how to walk and talk, he completed marathons in San Diego and Rome.  He has since completed marathons on six continents and is in training for the seventh in Antarctica.  He is an impressive young man.

Matt’s message was elegant in its simplicity, “Be mindful of each day.” We could tell by the tone of his laugh that deep down, having looked down the barrel of that gun three times, he really was not affected by what others may have thought of him.

This took me back to 1993 and Jim Valvano’s inspiring words at the Espy’s, (knowing he was not likely to survive as Matt ultimately did).

“...To me, there are three things we all should do every day.  We should do this every day of our lives.  Number one is laugh.  You should laugh every day.  Number two is think.  You should spend some time in thought.  And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.  But think about it.  If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day.  That's a heck of a day.  You do that seven days a week; you're going to have something special….”

“…. Time is very precious to me….”  Jim Valvano.

Matt Jones made me think, “Are all or most of the areas of my life in the right priority?”

 How about you?  Are these areas of your life in the right priority?

1.      Faith

2.      Marriage/Couples/Intimacy

3.      Health/Physical well-being

4.      Family/Parenting

5.      Career/Employment

6.      Friendships/Social life

7.      Education/Personal growth and development

8.      Recreation/Fun/Leisure

9.      Citizenship/Community stewardship

Jimmy Valvano was right.  Don’t hold back.  If there is somebody important to you, tell them.  If there is something you need to say, say it.  If there is something to do, do it.  What are you waiting for?

Laissez les bon temps roulez!