Be a CHANGEMASTER: 12 Coaching Strategies for Leading Professional and Personal Change


Karla Reiss

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    Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

    Joshua J. Marine

    The news about change efforts is usually grim. Reports indicate up to 75 percent of organizational change efforts fail, meaning only about 25 percent are successful! According to Julia Ross (2000) in her book The Diet Cure, there is only a 2 percent long-term success rate of dieting. It has become common knowledge that change is hard; no one likes change and people will resist it. It has even become acceptable to think this way. Whether you are reading this book as a leader responsible for guiding your organization to a thriving future, or an individual hoping to make a personal change, these data bits can be downright depressing.

    Every leader must be competent to lead every individual to change. Leaders at all levels in the organization need specific skills and a deep understanding of how to guide people and groups toward the needed changes so the organization survives and thrives. Every leader dreaming, wishing, and hoping to make a lasting change needs a new mind-set and a concrete set of skills that foster successful change.

    We can no longer accept the rate of failure of change efforts. It is too costly. I know of no organization that has 75 percent of their time and financial resources to waste in change efforts that result in a great plan sitting on a shelf creating little to no change. I know of no person who doesn't have the best intention for his or her goal to finally happen. The future and success of your organization and your career, depends on having the know-how, confidence, competence, and courage to lead others to transform their thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and actions to achieve their desired change.

    When I searched for books on “change” I found 116,275. When I refined the search to “change management” I found 13,446 books. The key words leading change highlighted 703 books and personal change—3,736 books, with some overlap among categories. Professional and personal development are big and booming industries. According to a 2009 Marketdata Enterprises report, the self-improvement market in the United States was worth $10.5 billion. Professional coaching was growing at a rate of 6.2 percent per year. Leaders and individuals are hungry for the best advice and how-to tips to overcome the challenges of creating change in their professional and personal lives. Coaching is considered a must-have skill for today's leaders.

    When people start out on a change path, it often feels like they are fighting an uphill battle, going against the grain and swimming upstream. With so much going against them it can be easy to give up before beginning—or soon afterward. That's what usually happens.

    You don't have to join in the chorus and sing that same old song that “change is hard; no one likes change.” Change does not have to be seen that way, nor does it have to be feared.

    I would like every reader to adopt a new mind-set that change can be easy. OK, maybe not easy as pie but certainly easier, achievable, and surely within your reach. In this book, I will show you how you can easily implement twelve specific strategies and become a CHANGEMASTER!

    If you have ever been frustrated by leading a change effort, people who resist it, or making a personal change in your life, I hope you will find salvation and hope by delving into the twelve strategies to achieve lasting change. You can become a CHANGEMASTER by studying, learning, and thinking about how each of them are crucial to making successful change.


    In this book, I offer you the gift of fresh thinking about change to ease your work and ease the process of creating lasting change—at last! If you are a leader of people and responsible for organizational change, it is my wish and hope that this book equips you with practical strategies for managing resistance to change.

    I have a long-held belief in the importance of leaders adopting a “coaching style” of leadership and internalize the coaching process to reach more people in more cost-effective ways. You do not have to become a fully certified and credentialed coach, which can be a lengthy and costly process. You can develop the insight and knowledge to learn and apply the strategies that professionally trained coaches use.

    This book is intended to be a practical resource for helping organizational leaders and individuals rethink the challenge of change and develop positive strategies to achieve it. Too many change initiatives fail because we don't often know how to lead successful change. Failed efforts are very costly to the goals and momentum of the organization, costly in terms of wasted energy, dollars, and intention. We might know how to create change in theory, however, change is an individual process for each person and it is important for leaders to finally know how to master change.

    Readers will discover how to partner with people to overcome resistance to change. I hope this book inspires leaders to consider how coaching should be considered and adopted as a systemic change strategy. It is different from other books about change, which are typically theoretical. This book provides practical strategies and tips that will enable you to banish old, ineffective thinking about change and adopt a “change can be easy” mind-set. It is an “encyclopedia of change.”

    The content and CHANGEMASTER strategies in the chapters that follow are based on professional coaching strategies versus change management theory common to other books about change. This book differs in that it will help leaders adopt a coaching style of leadership without specific coach training. While this is not a book filled with descriptions of various research projects, it is based on research about how we can achieve successful change that is incorporated into the work of professional coaches. It will provide specific hands-on, easily doable strategies and tools you can implement immediately with staff, teams, and your entire organization.

    The body of knowledge this book is based on is derived from the field of professional coaching, and from research on brain function, not from years of formal research into the change process. I will share with you what I have learned about people and change from the world and work of professional coaching. For coaching is how we support people to create change, one person at a time. Coaching is a proven process for creating change in individuals and entire organizations.

    Who Should Read This Book

    If you are one of the people who has bought into the concept that change is hard, this book is for you. This book will serve many audiences. It is designed to be useful for both individuals who wish to make personal change in their lives, and organizational leaders who are responsible for managing a change effort. If you are a superintendent, CEO, executive director, department manager, team leader, or any leader of people who are responsible for achieving challenging goals, you will find this book practical and useful. University professors and teachers of courses that focus on leadership, organizational development coaching programs can use this book as a unique and helpful text.


    I don't know about you, but I became tired of listening to people moan and groan about how hard change is. Individuals who want to change something in their life and never quite achieve their goal often give up. Leaders who claim staff won't change, no one likes change, change is impossible, or people will resist often do not know what to do when resistance arises.

    Allow me to shake up your thinking about change. I decided to write this book to change your mind-set about change. Change can be easy and in the chapters following are a dozen specific things you can do to discover just how easy it can be.

    The twelve strategies described in this book came to me late one night while stranded overnight in an airport. There were no hotels available, and I had no choice but to stay awake all night and wait for my early morning flight. I had just come from a speaking engagement at a high school. Many high school staff members are said to be very traditional and resisting change. As I left this event, I thought about ways to help them adopt new ways to think about change in a positive “I can do it” way.

    So there I was at midnight in the Chicago airport with my need to stay awake and my thoughts about how to help people consider new ways to think about change. That is when the idea for this book hit me in the form of an acronym: CHANGEMASTER—created to help leaders and individuals remember what is needed to create change and to communicate how easy change can be. I was energized by the idea. It helped me stay awake all night as I feverishly created the beginning of what is now this book. I hope it serves to support you in making important changes, work with people who resist change, and help your challenging goals become reality. Most of all, I hope it helps you rethink change; discover that change can be easy and become a master of change!

    How to Use This Book

    This book is organized into twelve strategies that evolved from my work with school leaders and individuals over the past ten years as a professional coach. All twelve strategies are derived from the coaching field, and represent what coaches do with individual clients, groups or entire organizations, to cultivate successful change. The acronym CHANGEMASTER is meant to assist readers with a simple-to-remember format that change can be easy. This is a flexible book. The twelve strategies can be applied to any or all change efforts—changes for the organization, teams, individuals, or the leader. They can be applied to personal changes or professional ones. I recommend before you implement the ideas in this chapter that you read the entire book so you can grasp all twelve strategies for change. Get to know what is meant by each one, and practice with people. You can easily apply the same strategies in this book to groups that you apply to individuals.

    Once you become familiar with the strategies in the following chapters, feel free to try any or all of them. Although each one is important to achieving your desired change, there is no particular order you must follow. Choose one and get going. Choose the one that either resonates with you the most, or the one where you think people are stuck.

    Each chapter contains success stories that demonstrate how the strategies described in this book have led to transformational change. Readers will also find one or more useful tools to help them implement the strategies today and tips for success. You can try the strategies and the tools yourself before introducing them to your staff, if you wish, or you can jump right in and be a CHANGEMASTER.

    Each contributor who shared a success story using these strategies is a professional coach with no less than sixty hours of training. To respect the confidential nature of coaching, their names, locations and organizations have been changed, unless otherwise indicated.

    Universal Application

    The strategies in this book are different from those you would typically find in a leadership book. They encompass the whole person. They include mental (thoughts), physical (action), emotional (feelings), and spiritual (meaningful purpose) attributes. While this book has a bias toward leadership and organizational change, every strategy is equally useful for you as an individual in achieving any change. Want to launch a business, achieve your ideal goal weight, retire to Tahiti, or change careers? Feel free to use the tools and strategies to stop thinking you can't and start getting your plan in motion.

    Many of the examples used in the chapters that follow are about school systems. As a former educator, I am passionate about fostering change in such challenging organizations. The concepts, tools, and strategies are practical and useful for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses of any size, too. You can easily apply them in any setting.

    Three Main Reasons to Buy This Book
    • To provide leaders and individuals with practical, doable coaching strategies they can apply today to create successful change
    • To adopt a new, positive mind-set that change can be easy and within your reach
    • To provide insight, skills, and understanding of a coaching style of leadership
    Special Features
    • Useful tools you can use for planning and professional development
    • Inspiring quotes
    • Tips for success

    You can start adopting a coaching style of leadership today. Doing so will offer understanding about how change is truly and finally made. You will learn how to foster change in others by using the twelve strategies in this book. They are all coaching strategies. Coaching is very much an inside-out process. Internally changing how we think, what we believe, and what we do leads to external change in behavior, action, and results.

    Enjoy the (easier) journey …


    I never aspired to be, or thought of myself as, a writer. For some people, writing is their life's work. For me, it evolved and became a means for communicating something important that I wanted to share with others. I wanted to inspire people and provide hope for achieving successful and lasting change.

    This book would never have made it past the thought stage if it were not for the kind nudging by senior editor at Corwin, Arnis Burvikovs. Many thanks to Cassandra Seibel, project editor; Desirée Bartlett, associate editor; and Kimberly Greenberg, editorial assistant, for your collective guidance. Everyone at Corwin has been a tremendous pleasure to work with. I am very grateful for the Corwin editorial board who believes in my work and its value, and I am proud to be among the fine company of Corwin authors.

    There are dozens of individuals and former clients whom I have not only learned so much from but whose courage, persistence and amazing results propel me to continue this work. I would like to thank the professional coaches (and their clients) who shared their success stories with me. Among them are Charles Elbot, Denver Public Schools, and Lindsley Silagi, Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Others who shared stories prefer to remain anonymous. I thank you, too. To protect confidentiality, I cannot mention all the names of the clients who bravely embraced coaching and tackled their goals. If you are a former client or student of our Powerful Coaching for Powerful Results™ program, please know how grateful I am for your presence, your enthusiasm, and your commitment to learn this valuable process and bring it to others.

    As our work and training has grown, I want to thank the many professional coaches who have partnered with me to facilitate our training programs. Thank you for sharing your expertise, your time, and passion for coaching. Among them are Denny Balish, Carla Geddes, Elaine Gnessin, Janice McDermott, Kathy Quinn, Sheldon Romer, Chuck Schroeder, Lindsley Silagi, and Steve Silverman and our Canadian coaches: Beryl Allport, Robert Carscadden, Ann Fogolin, Marie-Claude Lapalme, and Debra Forman. The list continues as we expand.

    Heartfelt thanks to my husband Ed who has patiently and lovingly left me alone so I can carve out the time and space I needed to write this book. Thank you for reading every word and for everything you do to enable me to pursue my life's work.

    My family members have been wonderful cheerleaders. To my mom, Dobbie, my children Michael and Emily, and my extended family, Matt, Bridget, Shanna, and Michelle, thank you for your encouragement and being a meaningful part of my life!

    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin would like to thank the following individuals for taking the time to provide their editorial insight:

    • Darlene K. Castelli, Reading Specialist, Literacy Coach, and
    • Literacy Coordinator
    • Clayton High School
    • Clayton, MO
    • Mary Ann Hartwick, Principal
    • Litchfield Elementary School
    • Litchfield Park, AZ
    • Kay Kuenzl-Stenerson, Literacy Coach
    • Merrill Middle School
    • Oshkosh, WI
    • Alice Manus, Assistant Principal of Academics: Curriculum,
    • Instruction, Guidance, and Counseling
    • Soldan International Studies High School
    • St. Louis, MO
    • Kay Teehan, Technology Resource Specialist
    • School Technology Services
    • Polk County Schools
    • Lakeland, FL

    About the Author

    Karla Reiss is the award-winning author of Leadership Coaching for Educators: Bringing Out the Best in School Administrators. She founded The Change Place, LLC, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to the continuous improvement of individuals, teams, and organizations, in 2002 after 30 years in education, publishing, and sales. She and her team of certified coaches offer several levels of coaching training programs to leaders of school systems, government and non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals who wish to learn a coaching style of leadership, including Powerful Coaching for Powerful Results™ certification program, CKEY: Coaching Kids, Empowering Youth™, and various related programs. The Change Place, LLC also provides executive and leadership coaching services, workplace and leadership assessments, and products that support others to lead professional and personal change. She is also a frequent speaker at national, state, and local conferences.

    As a school administrator, Reiss worked with more than 50 school districts in a variety of school improvement roles, the majority as coordinator of professional development at Western Suffolk (NY) Board of Cooperative Education Services. She has conducted numerous professional development programs and school improvement opportunities for K–12 staff and district leaders. She is certified in strategic planning and served on the New York State Education Department's statewide steering committee for Comprehensive District Education Planning. She was president of New York State Staff Development Council and served on the Executive Board of the Long Island Association for Curriculum and Staff Development.

    Karla Reiss is a graduate from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching in 2002 and received additional coach training at the College of Executive Coaching. She holds a bachelor of science degree, a master's degree in special education, and a professional diploma in school district administration. Her professional and personal inspiration and transition into the world of coaching was a result of the invitation to participate in Oxygen TV's program, The Life Makeover Project in 2002. She has applied all of the coaching techniques and strategies described in this book to her own life and now helps others courageously transition their lives, leadership style, and organizations to fulfill their goals, hopes, and dreams.

    She lives the life of her dreams in Boulder, Colorado. Reiss can be reached at or

  • Appendix


    Challenging Assumptions Tool

    I have learned as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to fonts of wisdom and knowledge.

    Igor Stravinsky
    How to Use This Tool

    Identify the goal or change.

    • Identify your underlying or hidden assumptions or those prevailing in the minds of your staff members.
    • Determine and decide on one or more strategies to challenge and shift the assumption.
    • Identify new actions to be taken as a result of the strategy. (New actions will help to banish assumptions!)
    • Use individually, or with groups.

    Identify the goals or changes you wish to make:

    Have a Higher Purpose Tool 1: My Joyfinder™

    All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.

    Horace Friess
    Have a Higher Purpose Tool 2: A Starter Set of Questions

    We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.

    Native American Proverb

    Take sufficient time, in a peaceful place, to ponder these questions: How do you want to be remembered for your time on earth?

    • What would you do if you had all the resources in the universe (time, money, support)?
    • What would you be unstoppable at pursuing your Higher Purpose?
    • What are you most passionate about?
    • What might you regret not doing if you neglect it in this lifetime?
    • What would you be most proud of?
    • How do you define success?
    • What are your unfulfilled dreams?
    • What do you need to let go of to let yourself dream big?
    • Who do you want to serve? Why?
    Have a Higher Purpose Tool 3: Creating a Personal Mission Statement

    Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it; because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

    Howard Thurman

    Why Have a Personal Mission Statement?

    • It clarifies the significance for your life and work.
    • It keeps you on track.
    • It provides strength to stand tall in fluctuating winds of change.
    • It helps you be proactive as opposed to reactive.
    • It attracts people that support your mission.
    • It helps focus your energy on what matters.
    • It helps you say no to things not aligned with your mission.

    Your personal mission statement will be a single sentence that feels empowering when you say it. It should feel strong, inspiring, and energizing. Once you craft it to your satisfaction, write it below; memorize it and recall it when you have challenging choices to make or goals to pursue.

    For example, Martin Luther King's Personal Mission Statement was “Equality for all … through peaceful means.”

    Here's how to structure your Personal Mission Statement.

    • What you do (three verbs)
    • For whom (teens, women, etc.)
    • Why (for example, promote world peace)

    What I do:

    For Whom:


    Examining Limiting Thoughts Tool

    No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

    Helen Keller

    Identifying one's inner thoughts is essential for creating change or achieving a challenging goal. Begin to examine your Limiting Thoughts by noticing those that may be part of your current thinking. Create new thoughts that create the opposite thinking; a Turnaround Statement.

    The newly created Turnaround Statement should be positive and create a picture of the preferred future state. It doesn't matter if it doesn't exist yet. Write it in the present tense, as if it is already happening.


    • Limiting Thought—I could never be that lucky.
    • Turnaround Statement—All of my dreams are possible.

    Write each Limiting Thought below. Next to it, write a Turnaround Statement that reflects the opposite thinking. Post them around you and repeat them when Limiting Thoughts surface.

    Nix the Negatives and Naysayers Tool 1: A to Z Uplifting Words
    • Abundant
    • Accomplish
    • Achieve
    • Action
    • Active
    • Admire
    • Adventure
    • Affirm
    • Agree
    • Alive
    • Amaze
    • Appealing
    • Appreciate
    • Approve
    • Assertive
    • Astounding
    • Authentic
    • Beaming
    • Beautiful
    • Believe
    • Benefit
    • Bloom
    • Boost
    • Bountiful
    • Brave
    • Breakthrough
    • Brilliant
    • Calm
    • Care
    • Celebrate
    • Cheer
    • Choice
    • Clarity
    • Clever
    • Commend
    • Confident
    • Connected
    • Courageous
    • Creative
    • Cultivate
    • Curious
    • Dazzling
    • Delight
    • Discover
    • Distinguished
    • Dynamic
    • Eager
    • Ease
    • Efficient
    • Effortless
    • Encourage
    • Energized
    • Energy
    • Enjoy
    • Enthusiastic
    • Exciting
    • Exhilarating
    • Expand
    • Explore
    • Express
    • Fabulous
    • Fantastic
    • Flourish
    • Fortunate
    • Freedom
    • Fresh
    • Fun
    • Generous
    • Genius
    • Gentle
    • Genuine
    • Give
    • Glad
    • Glorious
    • Glow
    • Grace
    • Grateful
    • Grin
    • Grow
    • Harmony
    • Healing
    • Heart
    • Heavenly
    • Helpful
    • Honest
    • Idea
    • Ideal
    • Imaginative
    • Increase
    • Incredible
    • Independent
    • Ingenious
    • Innovate
    • Inspire
    • Instinct
    • Intelligent
    • Inventive
    • Jovial
    • Joy
    • Kind
    • Laugh
    • Leader
    • Learn
    • Light
    • Lively
    • Love
    • Marvelous
    • Master
    • Meaningful
    • Mission
    • Motivate
    • Moving
    • Nourish
    • Nurture
    • Open
    • Optimistic
    • Outstanding
    • Paradise
    • Passionate
    • Peace
    • Pleasure
    • Plentiful
    • Plenty
    • Positive
    • Powerful
    • Productive
    • Prosperous
    • Protect
    • Purpose
    • Quality
    • Quest
    • Quick
    • Quiet
    • Recognized
    • Refresh
    • Rejoice
    • Rejuvenate
    • Relax
    • Remarkable
    • Renew
    • Resonate
    • Resources
    • Respect
    • Restore
    • Revered
    • Revolutionize
    • Rewarding
    • Rich
    • Robust
    • Safe
    • Secure
    • See
    • Serene
    • Service
    • Shift
    • Shine
    • Silence
    • Simple
    • Sincerity
    • Smart
    • Smile
    • Solution
    • Soul
    • Sparkle
    • Special
    • Spectacular
    • Spirited
    • Splendid
    • Spontaneous
    • Stillness
    • Strong
    • Success
    • Sunny
    • Support
    • Sure
    • Surprise
    • Sustain
    • Terrific
    • Thankful
    • Thrilled
    • Thrive
    • Together
    • Tranquil
    • Transform
    • Treasure
    • Triumph
    • Trust
    • Truth
    • Ultimate
    • Unbeatable
    • Upbeat
    • Valued
    • Vibrant
    • Victory
    • Vision
    • Visualize
    • Vivacious
    • Welcome
    • Whole
    • Wholesome
    • Willing
    • Wonderful
    Nix the Negatives and Naysayers Tool 2: Noticing the Negatives

    When you are serious about change, you must become acutely aware of who is in your camp, who is not, and how you react to and deal with negativity. This can make or break the likelihood of reaching your goal.

    • Identify the people who (might) nix your goals.
    • What conversations will you have with each one to determine the underlying reason for their opinions or negativity?
    • What will you say to people who nix your ideas? Prepare in advance a statement that is positive, inspiring, and empowering.
    • Identify people who can support you, your ideas, and your goals.
    • Which words might you need to eliminate from your vocabulary?
    Gather Your Group Tool

    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

    Helen Keller

    My Goal:

    Think of all the people in your world of work, if this is a work-related goal, who might support your goal. If this is a personal goal, think of all the people in your life. Below are some questions to help you Gather Your Group.

    What is the purpose of the group? What goal or change are we shooting for?

    • Who can help me or us reach the goal?
    • What steps will we take to create trust?
    • How will I muster the courage I might need to ask for help?
    • How will we hold each other accountable?
    • How will we support each other?
    • How will we celebrate each other's success?
    • What specific support do we each need? From whom?
    • What exactly will I ask of them?

    When you suffer together that is when you make the strongest connections with the people around you.

    Erik Weihenmayer
    Emotionally Connect to Your Goal Tool 1

    It is recommended to complete this tool outdoors in nature or at a location that you find inspiring and peaceful. If you are indoors, choose a quiet place away from distractions. Follow the steps below to Emotionally Connect to Your Goal.

    My Goal (see p. 165):

    When I think about this goal, I feel _________________________________________

    Identify the positive emotions you expect to feel when you successfully achieve it.

    Identify any obstacles you predict might arise.

    • Consciously let go of any perceived obstacles. Imagine them floating away.
    • Breathe slowly and calmly until you feel peaceful.
    • Visualize your goal again, completed. Focus only on the positive feelings you identified above.
    • Record your feelings.

    (If the emotion is negative, consciously let it go. Bring the goal back to mind.)

    Repeat this process any time you feel resistance or your motivation slipping away.

    In a group setting, ask participants to share the emotions they will feel. Record them and use them as reminders when resistance surfaces.

    The joy of living is a more powerful motivator than the fear of dying.

    Dean Ornish, MD
    Emotionally Connect to Your Goal Tool 2: Words That Evoke Positive Emotions
    • Alive
    • Amazing
    • Attract
    • Avid
    • Awesome
    • Awestruck
    • Belong
    • Blissful
    • Bold
    • Buoyant
    • Brave
    • Bright
    • Calm
    • Capable
    • Carefree
    • Caring
    • Cheerful
    • Clever
    • Competent
    • Confident
    • Content
    • Daring
    • Dedicated
    • Delighted
    • Eager
    • Ecstatic
    • Elated
    • Empathy
    • Energized
    • Enthusiastic
    • Excited
    • Exhilarated
    • Fantastic
    • Fearless
    • Fulfilled
    • Gentle
    • Giving
    • Glad
    • Gleeful
    • Glorious
    • Grateful
    • Great
    • Happy
    • Healthy
    • Helpful
    • Honored
    • Hopeful
    • Important
    • Impressive
    • Innovative
    • Inspired
    • Inspiring
    • Intense
    • Invincible
    • Involved
    • Jolly
    • Jovial
    • Joy
    • Joyful
    • Jubilant
    • Liberated
    • Light-hearted
    • Liked
    • Listened to
    • Lively
    • Lovable
    • Love
    • Loving
    • Lucky
    • Merry
    • Moved
    • Needed
    • Nostalgic
    • Nurtured
    • Open
    • Optimistic
    • Overjoyed
    • Passionate
    • Peaceful
    • Perky
    • Playful
    • Positive
    • Powerful
    • Proud
    • Quiet
    • Rapturous
    • Reassured
    • Reflective
    • Refreshed
    • Rejuvenated
    • Relaxed
    • Renewed
    • Renewed
    • Replenished
    • Respected
    • Revitalized
    • Rewarding
    • Safe
    • Satisfied
    • Secure
    • Self-assured
    • Self-reliant
    • Sensitive
    • Sentimental
    • Serene
    • Serious
    • Sincere
    • Skillful
    • Smart
    • Soothed
    • Special
    • Spirited
    • Stretched
    • Sunny
    • Super
    • Superior
    • Sympathetic
    • Talented
    • Tender
    • Terrific
    • Thankful
    • Thoughtful
    • Thrilled
    • Tranquil
    • Transformed
    • Treasured
    • Trusted
    • Trustworthy
    • Unstoppable
    • Uplifted
    • Valued
    • Victorious
    • Warm
    • Warmhearted
    • Wealthy
    • Whole
    • Wishful
    • Worldly
    • Worthy
    • Youthful
    • Zest
    Maintain Momentum Tool

    The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.

    Jim Rohn

    My Goal:

    Where are you now, in relation to your goal? Describe your current state. Then, circle the letter indicating where you are now.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    How will I know when I have achieved the goal? Be specific.

    • What action steps will I take today to make progress toward my goal?
    • Brainstorm all the possible actions you can think of. Prioritize them. Choose those you will do now, next week, and so on.
    • What might impede me from taking action?
    • How might I overcome obstacles that arise?
    • Apply some courage and consider action steps that are a stretch for you. List them.
    • What else can you do?
    • Who will you share your action steps with? Who will hold you accountable?
    • What strategies will you use to stay committed to implementing them? What might you have to say no to?
    • When will you complete the action steps?

    Pray for potatoes, but pick up a hoe.

    Ask How Can I?: Becoming a Possibility Thinker Tool

    My Goal:

    Brainstorm Possibilities

    List twenty possible strategies or actions to achieve the goal. Don't stop until you list twenty. Doing so will enable you to stretch your thinking and develop courageous or not-yet-considered steps. Do this alone or with a partner.

    See Success Smiling Tool

    What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

    Napoleon Hill

    My Goal:

    List adjectives that describe your goal:

    • Rewrite your goal statement in specific detail:
    • How will you calm yourself to achieve alpha wave state? Create a process that works for you. You can breathe slowly while counting down from ten to one, or choose another meditative process.
    • Where will you go or be when you practice visualization techniques?
    • Identify the positive thoughts and emotions associated with your goal.
    • Remember to smile!
    Turn Talk to the Future Tool

    The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

    Peter S. Drucker

    My Goal:

    On a scale of one to ten, how future-focused is your leadership style today?

    • How will you shift to a future-focused style of leadership?
    • What thoughts do you need to let go of to achieve your future goal?
    • What words do you need to let go of to achieve the future state?
    Expect and Welcome Discomfort Tool

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

    Edmund Hillary

    Would you describe yourself as timid or fearless or somewhere in between?

    Identify a recent change you made, or something you did or tried for the first time.

    • What did it feel like? Name the emotions.
    • Identify a new goal, one that you perceive as a challenge to accomplish.
    • What number describes your level of excitement and enthusiasm about it?

    • What number describes your level of fear?

    What courageous action(s) are you willing to take this week toward this goal? List one to three actions.

    What will you do to upgrade your courage level? List one to three specific actions steps you will take this week.

    Remain Relentlessly Focused Tool

    Energy and persistence conquer all things.

    Benjamin Franklin

    My Goal:

    How much time will I devote to it today? Exactly when?

    • What actions will I say yes to today so I can take action on my goal?
    • What will I say no to today so I can take action on my goal?
    • How will I bypass detractors that may arise? What will I say to myself or to others?

    How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

    Anne Frank

    Below are all twelve strategies. Feel free to copy and use this tool yourself or with staff members.

    My Goal:

    • Challenge Assumptions

      Think of the change you identified. What assumptions do you or others have?

    • Have a Higher Purpose

      What is your higher purpose for this goal?

    • Awareness of Limiting Thoughts

      What Limiting Thoughts stop you? Write them down. List your Turnaround Statement.

    • Nix the Negatives and Naysayers

      Identify people who drain your energy and distance yourself from them. Reflect on negative comments you hear and develop your strategy for handling them.

    • Gather a Group

      Who can support you in accomplishing the change?

    • Emotionally Connect to the Goal

      Write down the emotions that you will feel when you successfully complete the goal.

    • Maintain Momentum

      What steps will you take today to make your change happen?

    • Ask How Can I?

      What possibilities exist?

    • See Success Smiling

      What does your change or goal look like? Describe it in vivid detail. Add a smile.

    • Turn Talk to the Future

      How will you rephrase what you wish to communicate so it remains focused on the future?

    • Expect and Welcome Discomfort

      How will you reinterpret discomfort? What words will you feed yourself now?

    • Remain Relentlessly Focused

      What will you say no to so you can free your time and energy for your priority goal?


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    CORWIN: A SAGE Company

    The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK–12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”

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