Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success

June 5, 2007

In this issue...
Point to Ponder
Observing and measuring performance - Keys to effective leadership coaching
Success Library
Last minute notes
Pocket Wisdom Companion Guide
Thanks for reading

Point to Ponder

"If you don't live it, you don't believe it."

Paul Harvey

Tell me about your belief systems. What powers you? What empowers you to strive and to stretch towards a bigger or more challenging goal? What is your belief in life and how does that play out in your reality?

John C. Maxwell shares an insightful point in Talent is Never Enough. One of many. He shares a story by Leading with Integrity author Fred Smith, Sr. Fred told him of an interesting comment from a Wycliffe Bible translator that in 20 of the world's most primitive languages, the word for 'belief' is the same as the word for 'do'. John's observation was that most people separate belief from action.

He went on challenge us to create powerful personal expectations, if we intend to bring these two words into alignment, face and overcome challenges, and move on to success in our lives. Easier said than done, but it makes sense to me.

A  decade back, I chose the name Ideas At Work! for my speaking and training company along this same logic path. Ideas are plentiful and powerful. However, until they are put to work, they lack the power to change or create anything of lasting value. Part of my passion in life and work has been helping people build strong foundations for success driven by their ideas and to act boldly and confidently in doing so. That core passion drives me to grow and to challenge what I do on a regular basis.

Has it always been easy? No! But it has always been worth the investment and commitment to a higher expectation of my own performance and those I coach or address. I learned many years back the power of challenging my audiences to commit to doing at least 'one' thing from the ideas I shared with them. When they do that, the likelihood of their actually moving ahead to doing that one thing is enhanced.

You've heard the phrase, "Actions speak louder than words"; but have you applied its implied wisdom in your life? Results come from actions. Better, more strategic actions help create more productive and profitable actions. Want a more productive sales or leadership team? Challenge them to grow and invest in their future by enhancing their belief in success now. Want to be more successful in your career or business? Invest in your professional growth and learn from those who are already succeeding.

Acting from a positive mindset will inevitably set in motion a series of positive results. You've heard this preached from a variety of platforms over the generations and it as true now as when it was first verbalized. When you act on your beliefs, you unleash a host of amazing creativity and the strategic, subsequent consequences. You also open the door and allow those who would help you to step in and share their insights and wisdom.

Here's a challenge for you: Observe those you work with or live with over the next couple of weeks. Compare what they say with what they do to uncover the truth behind what powers them and what they believe. How can you learn from their life lessons? Now comes the tricky part. Ask several people you trust to do this activity for you and report back to you at the end of this time frame.

Invest time to honestly reflect on their observations and see how you might be sabotaging yourself as well as where you are in alignment with what you believe. Resolve to change what you can to bring your actions in alignment with what you truly believe. Drop or re-develop those inconsistent belief/actions to help you succeed.

Make this next month one of your most productive. Put your Ideas At Work in making your life, your career, or your business an ongoing and leveraged success.

© 2007 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey, 


Observing and measuring performance - Keys to effective leadership coaching

By Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey

If you are truly dedicated to helping those you lead or supervise to improve their performance and productivity – it helps to actually watch them in action. Professional coaches in the athletic arena use on-site observation and film replays. This allows them to isolate and work on specific areas, techniques, or skills

In the business world these ‘instant replays’ can, at times, be filtered or edited by the people reporting them to the coach/leader/manager. It is difficult to know how well others are doing without actually observing or tracking their performance. Better systems and better information can lead to a better result and better coaching.

Over the years, one of my bigger challenges, as a leader and manager, was to work with those I supervised to help train them to be more productive on the job. Like many others, I’ve had a fair amount of challenge as a small business owner and as a manager for larger firms in helping my employees succeed.

Long before coaching became a ‘buzz’ word, I found myself using some of these techniques in coaching my staff, in helping them set goals for learning, and in moving their skillsets up the ladder so they could be promoted. In the early 1970’s I was hired to open a Big Boy’s franchise in Edmonton Center. A year or so later, I was asked to go to Calgary and assist the franchiser there in re-energizing his staff. Upon my departure my two assistants were promoted: one to take over my store and the second one to take over a store on the east side of the city. Their skills had been honed and they now had their chance to shine and succeed. I had a similar experience as part of the management team to open the first two Home Depots in BC. Several of my staff were tapped to move up into management as new stores came on line. Coaching as part of the training and motivational process works very well.

It works well in the association market in the management of volunteers too. I could tell you many success stories of boards and those who serve on them who responded well to coaching techniques.

One example was during my extended term as President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (1999 & 2000.) I was moved into the presidency early due to an un-expected resignation. We had a serious challenge with a dangerously low bank balance, low membership, and low energy in our meetings. It took recruiting and coaching a motivated team to make it happen and to reverse the process. It took a focused coach to call the plays, help set the goals, and continue helping our volunteer leaders grow to take on their respective roles and to serve our membership.

Did it work? You bet it did! At the end of my 18 month term, we had tripled our membership, had a healthy bank account, a reasonable budget for the next year, a 2-year succession of leaders (both succeeding presidents did an awesome job), a healthy, fully active board, the next year’s meetings already booked and a very relieved Immediate Past President (me)! Yes, Coaching works in creating a winning team.

I’ve been able to bring these coaching skills into play while working with executives and professionals who want to enhance their leadership or sales skills and/or desire to become more effective in their presentation skills. They in turn have leveraged these skills to help their teams.

Successful leaders and managers (coaches) look at both the results and the process to find areas where they can assist their employee’s fine tune or tweak their skills for enhanced performance and productivity.

Performance observation and measurements must be done on a regular, recurring basis to offer ongoing validity in your coaching efforts. A little feedback and instruction close to the activity is the most effective. Performance reviews, as done in most businesses once or twice a year, are not effective and can at times actually be counterproductive.

Learning how to observe your employees without making them feel intimidated or uncomfortable is a skill you’ll need to acquire as you evolve your coaching expertise.

Coaches Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell and Joe Fehrman suggest these tips for observation. I include them here for you to use as you plan your focused coaching efforts.

How to Observe

· Observe process used

· Observe end result

· Explain why you are observing (to help them improve!)

· Don’t interrupt work flow

· Ask questions to verify your understanding

· Watch operation several times

· Make notes for discussion

· Compare observations with any written (or ‘normal’) procedures

· Observe other employees for comparison purposes

· Be aware of your influence on the volunteer or employee’s performance (remember how you felt when someone was watching you do something and take that into account)

Helping your team or staff grow will require work on your part to observe their performance, design systems to help measure their performance and to allow you to give them the positive, helpful feedback they need.

It is hard work! But, your investment in their growth will pay dividends in the future; dividends in increased performance, improved morale and team building, and enhanced productivity.

© 2007 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey


Success Library

Each issue I have the privilege to suggest some reading or acquitisions for your success library. Here are some to consider:

If you have a book you'd like to recommend, or as an author, you'd like reviewed please contact us. We'd be happy to consider including it in a future issue.


Last minute notes

May was simply marvelous...

Amidst the speaking and training we were also able to create our first pocket wisdom motivational companion book prior to flying to Chicago to share the Secret Selling Tips program with some of North America's top furniture, appliance and electronics dealers. We have a number of companies who are enrolling their sales management and teams in our internet based program and ordering pocket wisdom books as well. Welcome HOM Furniture, Olinde's Furniture, Ashley, and Steinhafel's SuperStore who have enrolled their sales teams. Our second Small Business Success session for Grand & Toy went well in Calgary on the 30th.

June will be jumping...

In addition to the following, we will be working on getting our new sales teams subscribers enrolled and their Secret Selling Tips onto their computer monitors, writing new issues, working on Secret Leadership Tips, updating our websites, adding a merchant capacity, another book idea and catching up on some other projects put on hold when we launched SST.

June 1st: Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Opportunities Unlimited on "The Secret Selling Tips and how to apply them in your business and sales success."

June 2-3rd: Toastmasters District 42 executive leadership training weekend for the 5th year at Red Deer College. "Dealing with Conflict" and "The Courage to Lead!"

June 19th: SOHO SME event keynote sponsored by Grand & Toy - Calgary, AB Drop in if you are in the area. This looks like a fun event.

June 22-23: Joint meeting with CAPS Edmonton and CAPS Calgary. Co-host a special Friday nite fireside chat with Natashia Halkowski on "Beyond The Secret - how to apply these principles for success in your business" - Red Deer

June note:  I was able to drop in and visit with two Toastmaster World Champions and friends, David Brooks and Darren LaCroix in Calgary prior to spending the weekend with an amazing group of Toastmaster Leaders from District 42. This was my 5th year being invited to share a few thoughts and strategies for success in their upcoming adventures.

July looks good already...

July 8-12th: National Speakers Association convention in San Diego

July 11th: Presentation for Steinhafel's Furniture vendor fair in Waukesha, WI

July 14th: Shackleton's first cousins' reunion in Woodenville, WA (my mom was a Shackleton from Olds, AB)

July 14 - ?: taking a personal mini break to recharge my creative engines...

PS: Picture is with two of my students. Prior to moving to Alberta I taught 'Speaking For Success" programs at local Vancouver colleges.


Pocket Wisdom Companion Guide

Our first pocket wisdom motivational companion is now available. This first one is geared to people in sales. Retail price is $4.95 with a S&H of $1.50 for single copies. Volume discounts are also available and if you order more than 50 copies they can be personalized with your logo on the back.  We have orders from companies in Canada and the US already and will be expanding this product line.

We will have a whole series of sales pocket wisdom and are working on other topics, such as Customer Service as well. We'll keep you posted.

As a special gift to our I@W audience... order one and we will include the shipping. Your investment will be only $5.00 in total.

Mail your check or money order to: #10, Creativity Corner, Egremont, AB T0A0Z0. Make out to Ideas At Work!


Thanks for reading

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you for your conference, meeting or training event. For more information about customized keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009

Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company, or organizational needs.

PS: Pic is the old Idea Farmer playing with an even older tractor. You may have seen this pic on Edmonton based cism-fm's "not so desperate farmers" promotion earlier this year.


If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard. If you've been with us a while, I hope you'll enjoy our new expanded format. We publish this e-zine to share ideas and keep in touch with our friends, readers and audience members who wanted to remain in contact and share in the lessons we acquire along the way.

You are receiving this e-zine because someone (we hope you) subscribed. If you want to continue getting this on a monthly basis, simply do nothing. If you decide you do not want to receive this publication, at any time, simply hit the unsubscribe button to the right. Please pass this issue along to anyone you think will gain some benefit from reading it.

If you have gotten this copy as a forward from one of your friends and want a copy of your own, simply hit the subscribe button to the right and give us your email address. Our service - Mymailout automatically does the rest.

Follow link for Privacy, Copyright and Polices


Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Send this to a friend

This email was created and delivered using MyMailout
"create, send and manage email newsletters"

Send this to a friend

Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Secret Selling Tips

  • If your success depends on your ability to persuade or sell your ideas
  • If your chosen career is selling or retail
  • If you lead or manage a team of selling professionals
  • If your business depends on sales to grow
  • If you haven't already visited this new online venture, I'd invite you to do so and to tell your friends and colleagues.

For, as little as, the price of a cup of coffee you can equip and motivate yourself or your sales team to grow and succeed.

Visit our site:

Secret Selling Tips will soon available for individual subscriptions. At present it is available only to companies for their entire sales teams.

Secret Leadership Tips will be available for subscription later in 2007. It will be available for individual subscriptions and will feature MP3 recordings from time to time.


Professional Speaker and Business Success Author

Bob is a long time (over a decade) leader and professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers as well as the International Federation for Professional Speakers.

He is proud to be an active professional member of these amazing groups of people dedicated to polishing their craft and to better serving their clients and audiences.

Bob is the co-founder and past president of CAPS Vancouver, an honorary founding member of CAPS Sask., an honorary member of CAPS Halifax and as well as being an active member of CAPS Edmonton. He served as a CAPS National Director (2000-2002.)

He would be happy to discuss how he can work with you to equip and motivate your leaders, their teams, sales teams, or volunteers to grow and to succeed.

Call him today at 1-780-736-0009 to explore leveraging his innovative Ideas At Work with your organization. Or, email him at


#10, Creativity Corner
Egremont, AB T0A 0Z0