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Recommended Instruments

The Success Insights is one of a suite of instruments measuring a person's preferred style in four areas: dealing with problems, influencing, pacing and complying . . . "naturally" and "really." The Management-Staff, Relationship Improving and Job-Person Fit are the most popular selected in the suite.

Using five key areas: intrapersonal, interpersonal, stress management, adaptability and general mood the EQ-i measures emotionally and socially intelligent behavior. This instrument helps individuals identify developmental needs while highlighting strengths that could be even better leveraged, while monitoring for over use.

The Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator (MBTI) helps people understand how they think and behave the way they do and how their "type" interacts with other "types." This assessment is useful in work relationships and personal relationships as it guides you toward strategies for working with or in difficult relationships.

The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B) is a self-scorable assessment. This assessment helps people understand how their need for control, inclusion and affection can mold their interactions with others in the workplace and/or in their day-to-day lives.

The 360 Process
The narrative portion of the process is an important tool used when developing your leadership skills at any stage in your journey. The narrative report helps an individual understand what strengths others in the workplace see them use on a daily basis that helps create positive results. The "observers" also have a chance to share an example of when that person is at their best and what that looks like. Lastly, the individual is provided with candid feedback from their "observers" on areas where that individual can do even better. A CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS interview takes place to gather this information from the "observers." The observers typically include but are not limited to the following: Managers, Co-workers, Direct-reports and Others.

The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) helps individuals measure their leadership behaviors. The LPI report shows how you rank yourself and how your Manager(s), Co-workers, Direct-reports and Others rank you in five categories: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart.

The lifeline is perhaps our most powerful instrument. By graphing our life on a simple 81/2 X 11 horizontal paper, participants are sharing the "peaks" and "valleys" they've encountered throughout the years. Reasons for completing a lifeline include:

  • Creates clarity of your story of how you’ve become who you are.
  • Connects you with your past.
  • Highlights your choices, their significance and their pattern.
  • Defines spaces you don’t share…perhaps with yourself and others.
  • A chance to hear and feel your story, from your heart, head and soul.
  • Connects you with others.
  • Offers a shape you can mold and polish as it increasingly serves you and your legacy.
  • Points to your “top ten” lists: Loves, Fears, Gifts and Truths/Agreements.
  • Opens space for you to hear from others what they’ve not heard.

Happy High Achiever Model

Speed of Trust (adapted from the Covey book by the same name)

Relationship Poisons and how to live poison free

Relationship Audits and strategies for assuring each person in the relationship is getting more than they are giving

Job Currencies

Learning and growing

Fun: affirmations, scoring, the "space" in which I work, applause, accomplishing, etcetera

Life style: Health centric, family centric, faith centric, choice centric

Reputation/brand that creates abundant career and work choices

Relationships I love (social currencies)

Relationships with influential people whose trust I earn that give me power to influence changes in my world

Remuneration ( money in all forms)

Legacy (higher purpose, making a difference, having meaning)

Our Relationship Will Be Successful When:

  • We share a common vision on our:
    • Results (what)
    • Style (how)
  • We share common values and codes of conduct (it’s easy to decide what’s right and wrong)
  • There are no surprises
    • Respectfulness (pre-notice is routine)
    • DWYSYWD (promise keeping)
  • We’re leveraging each other’s strengths
  • We have fun together
  • We “both” feel we’re getting more than we’re giving
  • We are routinely monitoring how we’re experiencing the status of each of the above and adjusting to stay aligned

A Love Model

(Notice what level you live in most of the time)

I. I love love

II. I love you for who you are plus for who you aren’t

III. I love you for who you are

IV. I love you more when you do and be more of what I want

Work Roles We Play Daily

  • Lead (people follow us because of the respect/trust we’ve earned and/or our expertise and/or our title)
  • Manage (controlling resources to deliver results)
  • Mentor (trusted advisor)
  • Coach (results partner)
  • Do (activities)
  • Teach (transfer curriculum)
  • Mediate (bridge people with different positions)
  • Therapy (heal and reframe)
  • Consult (give answers)

Note: You can earn an advanced degree in all of the above except in “doing,” “consulting” and “mentoring”. Thus showing the distinctiveness of each set of competencies.

A Results Based Interview Guide

  1. Why have you been working the past/”five” years?
  2. What results/strengths have you demonstrated?
  3. What weaknesses and areas of low engagement have you demonstrated and how have you shored yourself up?
  4. What set backs have you experienced and what have you learned from each?
  5. When I talk with the five people who knew you best the past “five” years, how will they answer questions 1-4?

Reference: “Who: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, September 2008

Spirituality PDF

Published Books

We are pleased to share with our clients and friends the description of our first book Uncommon Career Success and our recently published second book High Achiever's Guide to Happiness. We hope you have a chance to read through and enjoy them.

Uncommon Career Success
Often, when we get to the finish line called success, we simply don't feel successful enough. We feel an emptiness as we work harder, achieve more, and do all the things we should do to succeed. This is common- and sad. It's the path to burnout, frustration, and sometimes resentment. This book is about achieving uncommon career success - having a career that creates the life you want.

Yes, we have an option: Uncommon Career Success!

Be successful- feel successful- and get energized by your work.

Eight specially selected chapters show you the way Each is a short ride to greater career success and uncommon levels of joy and pride in yourself and your work. At the end of each chapter is a section titled Personal Coach with suggestions for personal action as you coach yourself to true, uncommon career success.

If you are interested in purchasing, please contact us at 562-795-5560 or info@vancecaesar.com

High Achiever's Guide to Happiness
Do you feel that happiness and fulfillment are still missing even after you continue reaching the high goals you set for yourself?

The High Achiever's Guide to Happiness is an inspirational resource for those looking for a deeper sense of happiness. It is a simple, straightforward leadership coaching guide filled with personal anecdotes, thought provoking examples and questions. Also included are reflection exercises for those interested in more deeply connecting their purpose with better ways to serve themselves and others.

The authors provide seven keys that you can come back to again and again towards gaining fulfillment in your work and life:

  • Discovering your purpose
  • Having a vision
  • Finding meaningful work
  • Energizing relationships
  • Beliefs and behaviors that give peace and power
  • Reviewing, renewing and recommitting
  • Discipline: Getting it and keeping it

Reflection Questions
These conversation-starting questions create an opportunity to learn more about yourself and others. Each set has over one hundred questions on individual cards. Some of the questions include:

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"
"What is one significant thing you have yet to live for?"

We hope you will find them as useful as we do!

If you are interested in purchasing, please contact us at 562-795-5560 or info@vancecaesar.com

Recommended Books

Here are some of our favorite books for leaders and executive coaches who serve them. Many are used in coach training programs we have periodically offered, along with the doctoral level and MBA leadership courses we teach at Pepperdine University.

Recommended Articles/Book Summaries

  • What Makes a Leader? (HBR article)
  • Who's Got the Monkey? (HBR article)
  • Discovering Your Authentic Leadership (HBR article)
  • Managing Your Energy, Not Your Time (HBR article)
  • Be Your Own Brand (get Abstract)
  • True North (get Abstract)
  • Leadership That Gets Results (HBR article)
  • The Speed of Trust (get Abstract)
  • Telling Tales (HBR article)

Networking Questions

  1. Whom do you admire most? In what way does that person inspire you?
  2. Who is the one person who has done the most to make you who you are today? How was that person significant to you?
  3. If you knew of a way to use your estate, following your death, to greatly benefit humanity, would you do it and leave only a minimal amount to your family? Why? Why not?
  4. What was the most risky decision you have ever made in your life? Why was the risk so great?
  5. Tell about one missed opportunity in your life.
  6. What is the one thing about yourself you like the best?
  7. If by magic you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why?
  8. One minute questions that can be answered with a word or phrase:
    • What is the one quality you value the most?
    • What did you always want to be when you were young?
    • Who is your favorite hero? Why?
  9. Suppose you were told that you have six months to live. What would you do in that time?
  10. To whom in the group do you feel closest? Why?
  11. You have one minute to say anything you want without using any words.
  12. When was the last time you cried in front of another person? By yourself?
  13. What is your biggest disappointment in life? Your biggest failure?
  14. When was the last time you felt powerless?
  15. What will you be when you grow up? And what have you become so far?
  16. Make a “gratitude” list
  17. Tell us something about yourself that will help us know you better.
  18. Discuss your relationship with your mother and/or father. What was it like growing up?
  19. Diagram “Life Pie’s.” What percentage of the time do you spend on business, personal and family? What percentage of time would you like to spend?
  20. Finish this sentence: “What I expect from people is . . .”
  21. Possible substitutes for the word “people” are spouse, children, parents and/or employees. Examples:
    • What I expect from my family is:
    • What I get from my family is:
    • What I give to my family is:
  22. When was the last time you felt intimidated?
  23. What is your greatest success in business, personal and family? Your greatest failure?
  24. If you were giving a dinner party and could invite any three people (living or dead), who would you invite? Why?
  25. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  26. What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you? How about a perfect 90 day vacation?
  27. Would you rather be extremely successful professionally and have a tolerable yet unexciting private life or have an extremely happy private life and only a tolerable and uninspiring professional life?
  28. What is your most treasured memory?
  29. Have you ever hated anyone? If so, why and for how long?
  30. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?
  31. If you knew you could devote yourself to any single occupation - music, writing, acting, business, politics, medicine, etc. - and be among the best and most successful in the world at it, what would you choose? If you knew you had only a ten percent chance of being so successful, would you still put in the effort?
  32. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire, after saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be?
  33. When were you last in a fight? What caused it and who won?
  34. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  35. What is the worst psychological torture you can imaging suffering? (anything causing even minor physical injury should not be considered)
  36. When has your life dramatically changed as a result of some seemingly random external influence? How much do you feel in control of the course of your life?
  37. When did you last yell at someone? And why? Did you later regret it?
  38. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way are now living? If so, what?
  39. If you were helping to raise money for a charity and someone agreed to make a large contribution if you would perform at the upcoming fundraising show, would you? If so, what would you like to perform? (Assume the show would have an audience of about 1,000)
  40. Would you like to be famous? If so, in what way?
  41. How do you picture your funeral? Is it important for you to have people mourn your death?
  42. Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  43. Knowing you had a 50% chance of winning and would be paid 10 times the amount of your bet if you won, what fraction of what you now own would you be willing to wager?
  44. What are your most compulsive habits? Do you regularly struggle to break these habits?
  45. What do you most strive for in your life: accomplishment, security, love, power, excitement, knowledge or something else?
  46. How close is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  47. Does the fact that you have never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to you?
  48. Since adolescence, in what three year period do you feel you experienced the most personal growth and change?
  49. If you could take a one month trip anywhere in the world and money was not a consideration, where would you go and what would you do?
  50. Have you ever considered suicide? What is so important to you that without it life would not be worth living?
  51. Who is the most important person in your life? What could you do to improve the relationship? Will you ever do it?
  52. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  53. Do you believe in any sort of God? If not, do you think you might still pray if you were in a life-threatening situation?
  54. Would you like to know the precise date of your death?
  55. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  56. What do you value most in a relationship?
  57. Do you judge others by higher or lower standards than you use to judge yourself?
  58. If you had to spend the next two years inside a small but fully provisioned Antarctic shelter with one other person, who would you like to have with you?
  59. What things are too person to discuss with others?
  60. How many of your friendships have lasted more than ten years? Which of your current friends do you feel will still be important to you ten years from now?
  61. What do you like best about your life? Least?
  62. Can you be counted on to do what you say you’ll do? What does it take for you to trust someone?
  63. Do you fell you have much impact on the lives of people you come in contact with? Can you think of someone who, over a short period of time, significantly influenced your life?
  64. Of all the people close to you, whose death would you find most disturbing?
  65. What would you like to be doing five years from now? What do you think you will be doing five years from now?
  66. What important decision in your professional life have you based largely upon your intuitive feelings? What about in your personal life?
  67. If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, who would you question and what would you ask?
  68. Do you feel that children should be sheltered from unhappiness? What from your childhood has proved most valuable? Most difficult to overcome?
  69. I’m becoming the kind of person who . . .
  70. I would like to be . . .
  71. I am most successful when . . .
  72. I get angry when . . .
  73. My relationship to authority is . . .
  74. What I like best about myself is . . .
  75. “Legacy” exercise

Each member makes a presentation on “What do you owe your family upon your death?” Questions to answer could include:

    1. What would you put on a video or letter to your spouse and children?
    2. What do you want your children to remember about you?
    3. What kind of values do you want to impart to your family?
    4. What would you leave to whom? Why?
    5. What would your eulogy say? Include quotes from your spouse, kids, a peer, an employee, a friend.

76. Assessment
Have each member spend our hour sharing:

    • A motto for my life
    • Where I was five years ago
    • Where am I now
    • Where I will be in five years

77. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
Can you make this change alone . . . or . . .
what help or support do you need to make this change?

78. List the three best and worst things that happened to you in the last five years. Good follow-up questions might be: How have these experiences changed you? What did you learn? What advice would you give others approaching similar situations?

79. List your five biggest fears. These can be charted to include the cause of the fear and the “impact on me today.” Good follow-up questions would be: Could any of these fears be self-fulfilling? Who else have you shared these fears with and what was their reaction? Do you think these fears are capable of resolution or will they be continuous and ongoing? If resolvable, what help do you need?

80. List ten values or life’s guidelines that you would like to impart to your children. Good follow-up questions would be: how did these values comes to be important to you? Have you been personally successful in leading your life by these same values? To date, have you been successful in imparting these values to your children? Which items on your value list would surprise others who know you?