jen spencer coaches


Why I Keep Coming Back to ‘Your Best Year Yet’

I hope you had a wonderful holiday week last week full of good food, great times with family and friends, and some rest!

Several friends and clients have been intrigued by a practice I do annually called Best Year Yet.

The book Book“Your Best Year Yet!” by Jinny S. Ditzler asks 10 questions to help you get clear on your wins and challenges during the past year while also helping you focus your energy and efforts in the year ahead in a way that will make it …(badumbum) Your Best Year Yet.

Since most of you are still on vacation, I encourage you to take advantage of this time to do some insightful planning for the year ahead.

You’re probably inundated with books, articles and other resources right now to help you plan your 2015. But the simplicity and flexibility of Best Year Yet keep me coming back to it. Working through the questions takes three or four hours. I recommend giving yourself four hours, and I encourage you to go through the process with a friend, spouse or colleague.  As I’ve done Best Year Yet, I’ve found that sharing someone else brings about more insights.

Some of the things I learned when I answered the questions this year: Continue reading

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How to take a REAL work vacation

August is a big vacation month. It’s hot here in Austin, Texas, which is why I am excited to go to Colorado this month. It’s 71 at noon vs. 112, thank you very much.

I was sharing my plans with my friend and colleague Maura Thomas, a productivity expert who always keeps me in line when we start talking about time management. She has some really useful articles on how to take a vacation that I’ve shared below. Continue reading



Do you see the forest or the trees?

This morning, I was listening to a Deepak/Oprah meditation that landed in my inbox. (I’m a big fan of these meditations!)

The topic was ageless living, and there was a great point about how common it is and how stressful it is to overthink our age, how much time has passed since something had happened or how much time was left before an upcoming event.

Yet, as the meditation pointed out, there is no counting “time” in the here and now. When we are truly present and breathing and letting go, there are no thoughts about where or who we’re supposed to be. In the present, we just are.

It got me thinking. Continue reading



Six Sources of Influence

I just finished Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield and Ron McMillan. This book chronicles a series of scientific studies around change and lays out the 6 sources of influence that it takes to make real change in your life.

I’ve outlined a few of the critical elements they discovered through months of research and interviews. In sum? To change one big thing, you have to change in six different ways to make that shift happen.

This is the Jen Spencer version of Cliff Notes to get you started:
Continue reading



We are not robots.
10 04 11, 10:45 am
Filed under: Business Related, Growth + Development, Resources


When companies grow, it’s a natural reaction to scale and systemize processes to bring consistent service, prevent potential damaging scenarios and to be able to manage how the business runs.

Systemizing can impede the human factor.

Systems are meant to streamline processes. But they don’t remove the need for the human factor.

Humans are not robots. They are talent.

Our input makes a difference, especially, when you are dealing with exceptions.

So hire smart humans. Identify the purpose of your work. Empower them to understand where they can make a difference. And, then let them do their jobs.

 



Performance Reviews for the Solopreneur (Part 2)
09 09 11, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Business Related, Resources

Assessing Your Performance

You are your business.

As solopreneurs, your biggest strengths and weaknesses are highlighted and amplified through your businesses.

The most incredible part of your business?  Everything that happens is dictated by and catalyzed through you. Did I also mention this can be the most overwhelming part, too?

It’s important to be able to recognize where are you making the most difference in your business and where are you holding your business back.  And while I have never met a solopreneur who wasn’t analyzing their business and gauging next steps, they are often caught in the cycle of working “in” the business versus finding time to work “on” it.
Continue reading



Top Tips for Performance Reviews
09 07 11, 10:00 am
Filed under: Business Related, Resources

Most people know what they do and don’t do well.  And, those that aren’t aware, deserve to be educated.  Here are some top tips on how to give clear, useful performance reviews that will help develop your employee(s).

1.  Have your employee fill out their own evaluation as their manager is getting a full 360 degree view (in some cases this may be you).
2.  Get a FULL 360 degree view (boss, peers, direct reports)
3.  Compare the 360 with their self-assessment.  Marry the results.
4.  Give employee the results.
5.  Meet with employee a week later to help them create a plan of action to leverage strengths, and improve on weaknesses.
6.  Manager and employee check in each quarter to see where the employee is in relationship to their plan.  Manager coaches as need be.

If you have used other proven methods you’d like to recommend?  Please share!

Are you a Solopreneur?  While you may not have employees, you have relationships with vendors and partnerships that help you fulfill your brand and work.  Here are some recommends for how to fulfill this with your vendor relationships, so the cogs can be removed while the valuable relationships can continue to grow and evolve.

Performance Reviews for the Solopreneur (Part 1): Assessing Your Vendors/Alliances/Partnerships




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