Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Who Is Coaching the Middle Manager? Sally Foley-Lewis

Who’s Coaching the Middle Manager?
Guest blog post by Sally Foley-Lewis, www.sallyfoleylewis.com

The connection guru, Iggy Pintado, and I were recently discussing workplace coaching and he put a great question to me, ‘Who’s really coaching the middle manager?’  At first glance of the question, it might seem quite obvious or even rhetorical: the senior managers, executives and C-suites are coaching the middle managers!  Aren’t they? 

Those who do
I am confident there are senior managers, executives and C-suites out there who are truly engaged with their middle managers by providing quality thought provoking and insight creating coaching moments.  I very respectfully tip my hat to you and encourage you by saying, from someone who was once stuck ‘in the middle’ without quality support, thank you and please keep going!

Those who think they do
Now let’s turn our focus to the senior managers, executives and C-suites who think they are coaching.  Do you feel as though I just put a target on your back?  That is not my intention, I want you to step back from your current thinking and processes and have a moment to ponder what you really do.

All I ask is that you sit with some questions, think them through as you allow the answers to emerge:
§  When you are with your middle managers, who speaks the most? 
§  What sort of questions do you ask, are they open or closed, do they inspire solution and vision-driven answers? 
§  Do you wait for an answer? 
§  When a middle manager comes into your space seeking a solution to a problem, do you just give the answer (because let’s face it, that often saves time, and time is money) or do you choose another process? 
§  Do you guide, mentor and train or do you coach.  Alternatively, do you ensure a mixture of these approaches and you can clearly identify when you are playing the respective roles? 
Let these questions sink in, you do not have to answer them to me as such but I would ask that you be honest with yourself. 

So, are you really coaching your middle managers?

What’s really going on?
Often when a problem emerges in what I like to term the ‘middle squish’, the affected or offending middle manager is sent on a training course because it is earnestly believed that the training will ‘fix’ the problem.  Three days away from the office sitting in a conference room somewhere discussing application of theory and a case study will not in itself create the change needed.  That said, it can lay a very solid foundation for development; it’s important for further expansion of knowledge; allows for networking; and also helps clear the head-haze / brain-fuzz by being away from the workplace for a short period. 

The issue I have is that in most cases the training course is considered the treatment, the band-aid, if you will.  What’s missing is thorough diagnosis or identification of the real challenges; there’s fuzzy, limited or no focusing on the vision and way forward; and whatever vision there is, is set without input from the middle manager. 

The case for quality coaching the Middle Manager
§  Middle Managers often serve many leaders within the one organisation.
§  Middle Managers are often assessed by leaders they don’t normally or regularly report to. 
§  Middle Managers oversee projects being executed by teams who don’t report directly to them. 
§  Middle Managers have demands, gripes and challenges (and great successes too) all coming up from the ranks. 
§  While also competing with their peers for resources, approvals, and projects, and the top-down demands to do more with less and understand, articulate and implement the organisation-wide vision. 

This is the ‘middle squish’!  Surely this evidences the need for middle managers to receive good quality coaching and thoroughly diagnosed and customised training that inspires, energises and is solution- and vision-driven.

What can you do to truly coach your middle managers to survive and thrive the ‘middle squish’?
Sally has helped managers in a range of industries, such as oil and gas, finance, telco, aviation, education and ship building, to be more effective, efficient and passionate about their management role.  Sally is a certified trainer and coach who helps fast-track managers to productivity.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 Things Your Parents Told You That Still Apply to Social Media - Danny Brown Blog Guest Post

I was honored to be asked by my friend, Danny Brown to guest blog for him.

The back story is that my daughter Rachel and I were on a road trip together and we started to discuss parental guidance on social media.

Here's what we came up with and hope you all enjoy:  https://www.dannybrown.me/2010/10/08/parents-children-social-media/  

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Connecting for Business Outcomes - Journey Continues

Over the last two years, I've had the opportunity to follow my passion of connecting for business and social benefit. In July 2008, I took a break from corporate life to write a book, set-up a consulting practice (ConnectGen) and speak professionally as a thought leader about the Power of Connection for business outcomes. It's been a fantastic experience and the connections and networks I've developed over that period will stay with me for life.

On July 1st 2010, I enter the next phase of my connection for business journey as I join the team at UXC Connect as their Director of Marketing, Sustainability & Innovation. UXC Connect (formerly Wang, Bull, Olivetti and more recently, Getronics) is part of the ASX-listed UXC Business Solutions Group, Australia's largest independent IT services company. UXC Connect works with customers to understand their business issues to help them deliver the right business outcomes through the most appropriate technology. Their focus is on keeping customer's business running long-term through infrastructure, workspace, environmental and managed sustainability.

I relish the challenge of growing UXC Connect's business in Australia by applying my traditional & social marketing/solutions experience and expertise to the business. I will also continue to be a thought leader and professional speaker on topics relating to social and business innovation, sustainability and connection through information technology.

Thanks and much appreciation to all who have - and continue - to support me.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Princess of Dreams Sings - Lee Safar

Something cool happened to me last week and I wanted to share it with you.

When I was younger and despite having close family and friends, I had - like many of us - moments of self-doubt and a feelings of isolation. 

Specifically, I'd wonder and worry about who would there to help me through life's twists and turns. To help me through these times, I'd listen to a song by Irene Cara called "Out Here On My Own" from the Fame soundtrack. I've always related to this song. The specific lyric that spoke to me was:

"When I'm down and feelin' blue, I close my eyes so I can be with you"

It was my way of coping by dreaming about the person who would be with me through life's trials and tribulations.

So back to the cool thing. I re-connected with my extremely talented singer friend, Lee Safar two years ago. To me, she is a Princess of Dreams and is an Angel of Inspiration to many through her music and Dreamangel work. I'd been hounding her for months to do a cover of this special song at one of her gigs. She politely said she'd consider it and didn't expect to hear back as she jetted off to Los Angeles to further her singing career.

Lee came back to Australia in early June to play some gigs in Sydney. Last Friday, I attended the first of her two shows at the Piano Bar in Sydney's King Cross. Lee had given me the honor of introducing her that evening and she did hint that she was going to do "that" song. I prepared my trusty Flipcam to record the moment on video (despite the occasional car horns, police sirens and drink shakers going off in the background).

Then, this happened ... I'll let Lee finish the story through the video  https://youtu.be/gAmhEFzcZFU 

Always interested in your thoughts via comments on this post.

Monday, March 8, 2010


A few weeks back, I was invited by Jen Bishop, editor of Dynamic Business magazine to attend a speed networking event in Sydney, Australia, hosted by Regus Virtual Offices. The format was to spend 60 seconds with each person you were due to meet - 30 seconds introducing yourself and 30 seconds of them introducing themselves. Due to the format and time, I ended up meeting 52 people from various business backgrounds.

By all accounts, it was a great success.

When I got back to the office, I contacted suppliers that I had an urgent need for their services and promptly followed up the business leads during the week. I was still left with a large pile of business cards on my desk. So what to do with these? I added them to my business database and invited them to Linkedin (or asked them to invite me) which is my usual practice. But then I thought ...

I'm a connector - I connect people to other people. So why shouldn't I share these new contacts with others who may be in need of their services. Hence, this post. I've categorised each business based on what I think they do, the person I met, their business name and their website.

Consider yourselves "speed connected".

AccountantsAmanda abk accountants www.taxbenefits.com.au
AccountantsDavid Clark & Jacobswww.clarkjacobs.com.au
BookkeepingEmma EC bookkeepingwww.ecbookkeeping.com.au
Brand ManagementCarolin Love Brandingwww.love-branding.com
Business CoachingAndrew Action Coachwww.actioncoach.com/andrewlaurie
Business MagazinePatrick Dynamic Businesswww.dynamicbusiness.com
Business StrategistBrendan Brendan Norriswww.BrendanNorris.com
Business TravelPeter World Business Travel www.wbtravel.com
Carbon Offset ConsultingMichael Climakind www.climakind.com
Childrens CharityAnthea Make A Wish Foundation www.makeawish.org.au
ChiropractorPaul Lyons Road Family Chiropractic www.drummoynechiropractor.com.au
Cleaning ServicesJonathan Mastercare Cleaning Services www.mastercarecleaning.com.au
Coaching - ExecutiveFaye Outshine Consultingwww.outshineconsulting.com.au
Consulting & TrainingMalcolm Vivides www.vivides.com
CRMMichael Ezy Suitewww.ezysuite.com.au
Design Marketing ConsultantsSarah Pure Equator Design www.pure-equator.com/
Executive Business AdvisorsKate Adept Executive Solutions www.adeptexecutives.com.au
Facilities ManagementLisa ITFM Serviceswww.itfm.com.au
Financial ModellingRussell Aether Solutionswww.aethersolutions.com.au
Financial ServicesTimothy Profile Financial Services www.profileservices.com.au
Foreign Exchange AdvisorsMark AFEX www.afex.com
Ideas EvangelistMahei Soderhavetwww.soderhavet.to/
IT ConsultingDavid We do technologieswww.wedotechnologies.com
IT Hardware HireNeil Hire Intelligencewww.hire-intelligence.com.au
IT Managed ServicesMichael Comcity Technologywww.comcity.com.au
Legal Service ProviderAlan Australian Lawyers Networks www.alnlegal.com.au
Life CoachingHoward Polaris Media Groupwww.polarismediagroup.com/shalosh
Marketing CreativesAndrew The Other Dimensionwww.theotherdimension.com
Marketing MerchandiseTim Value Added Promotions www.vap.com.au
Marketing SolutionsJudith Cantor Directwww.cantordirect.com.au
Mobile Digital SolutionsJT mobionewww.mobione.com.au
Mortgage BrokerMike MortgageCorpwww.mortgagecorp.com.au
Online Web DevelopmentVince Domani Digitalwww.domani.com.au
PhotographyAlex alexvaughanwww.alexvaughan.com.au
Product Launch ArchitectJames Launch Architects www.launcharchitects.com
Professional Migration RelocationClaire Sydney Migration International www.sydney-migration.com.au
Project ManagementGraham Erudite managementwww.erudite.com.au
Property Buyers AgentAmanda Amanda Segerswww.amandaonmyside.com.au
Property ManagementDana McCove Propertywww.mccoveproperties.com.au
Small Business AdvisorsLawrence Grow-Achieve www.grow-achieve.com
Stockbroking Advisory ServiceMartin Kinetic Securities www.kineticsecurities.com
Strategic PlanningKevin Zeno ITwww.zenoit.com.au
Tarot ConsultingChristine cmktartconsultancywww.cmktarotconsultancy.com.au
Tax AccountantsJanna Fletcher Tax Accountants www.fletchertaxaccountants.com.au
Tax Effective Charitable Donations SteveLeaf Capital www.leafcapital.com.au
UK Trade and InvestmentCraig British Consulate-General Sydney www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk
University AlumniHeidi UNSWwww.business.unsw.edu.au
Video Website ConciergeScott Clive Videowww.clivevideo.com
Virtual OfficesKatie Reguswww.regus.com.au
Visual CommunicationsLinda Parker-Woodwww.parker-wood.com
Wealth ManagementTony PBD Wealth Management www.pbd.com
Writer, Speaker, BroadcasterPaul PaulWallbank.com www.paulwallbank.com

Posted via email from iggypintado's posterous

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lessons from a Rose - Rosie Elzingre Pintado

In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet - Albert Schweitzer (via @iconic88)

Rosie Elzingre Pintado is my grandmother. To say she had an amazing life is the boldest of understatements. She was born in the Philippines in 1910, the daughter of Swiss and Spanish parents. She was married at the age of 19 and had five children with her husband, Felix Pintado I. 

In 1945, she spent months with her family fleeing the rampaging Japanese invasion of Manila, losing her husband and three of her children during the conflict. Her son, Jose Juan, just over a year old, died in her arms during a particularly savage bombing raid. 

She survived the war along with her two children, son Felix II (my Dad) and daughter, Teresita. She migrated to Sydney, Australia to rebuild her life in 1972 with her children and grand-children. On this day in 1993, she passed away peacefully. She is survived by her two children, thirteen grand-children, almost 30 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. 

On the last day of her life, I was by her hospital bed as she lay there in a coma struggling to breathe. My Dad, Mum and I watched her and talked about her life, her fighting spirit and her good humour despite all the challenges that befell her. During a break in our conversation, I witnessed her take her final breath - a moment that profoundly affects me to this day.

On the anniversary of her passing, I pondered on the 3 things that I learnt from my beloved grandmother and thought I'd share. 

1. Family as a Life priority - with the passing of her own children, Rosie realised that having family support is vital for survival. As the matriarch of the family during the rebuilding process, she always prioritised family celebrations and every occasion to get the family together. There were the usual trials and tribulations that every family must endure but her perseverance to keep the family united was relentless.

2. Technology as an Enabler to Adversity - Rosie loved watching movies and dramas on TV and even in her mid 70's, she mastered the TV remote control. As her hearing began to falter, she adopted a hearing aid to ensure she could still listen to her favorite films and shows. When she lost her eyesight eventually, she registered with the Royal Blind Society (now Vision Australia) to send her audio books on cassette so she could still enjoy her favorite literature. She taught me that if technology is available, embrace it to live, learn and enjoy.

3. Celebrate Life through Expression - Rosie was a master cake-maker and seamstress. She baked the most magnificent cakes ever and sewed clothes for almost every member of the family. She adored birthdays and anniversaries because she loved to celebrate with family and friends. She taught me how to dance for both fun and expression. She would hit the dance floor with her favorite Charleston jig or the more traditional Spanish Flamenco, regardless of who was watching her. She used self-expression to reveal her talent and to celebrate the joys of life.

I am so thankful for the gift of my grandmother, Rosie. 

If you're reading this and haven't thought to do so yet, say 'hi' to your grandmother for me. If she's no longer with us, take a moment to remember her for what she taught you.

Comments always welcome.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Day Slide Night Died

We had many family traditions when I was growing up. One of the those was "Slide Night". This was the night when Dad would take out his slide projector, the slide carousels that housed a hundred or more  slides and set up the projection screen. 

The eight children and Mum would assemble in the lounge room and would then be taken through a viewing of what seemed like an eternity of photo slides, accompanied by full narration (being an accountant by trade, Dad loves the details) from family events like the 1965 Disneyland trip, the drive through Canada in 1969 and family visits to our native Spain in 1970. 

Being one of the youngest in the tribe, I was attentive during the Disneyland trip slides with fabulous stories of the Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World After All experiences. The whole presentation process got tiring by slide 125 as we started on the Canadian leg and I was fast asleep by the Spanish trip.

A few months ago, my Dad who's now approaching 80 years of age, asked me whether I wanted to see his latest photos from a family event. My mind immediately went back to Slide Nights and a fear enveloped me of having to go through the set-up process again, let alone having to sit through multiple monotonous images. Dad then said, "Wait here, we'll watch it on the Plasma TV". 

STOP THE PRESS - this I had to see.

Dad walked into the TV room, plugged his digital camera into the plasma and off we went - that's him on the right in this photo - as I had to capture the moment. We skipped through the boring shots and went into detail on the most relevant ones. It was a dream viewing compared to Slide Night circa 1970.

Slide projectors and slides have long been replaced by digital alternatives over the years. For me, the moment was significant because it wasn't about the technology. This was about HOW the technology was applied by someone who embraced the technology - despite his age - to deliver the best result for what he wanted to achieve. 

That moment for me was ... the day the Slide Night died forever.