Coach It Out on Instagram

The Coach It Out Instagram account aims to empower its followers to design their leadership and get to where they belong.

You would be surprised what an image and a few words, questions, or challenges can do to get you to think about where you stand today and where — and who — you want to be tomorrow.

This page provides a little more insight into some of the account’s most impactful posts.

Below, I’ll share both the inspiration for why I wanted to share the image and how it applies to leadership development. Whichever ones you look at and learn about, consider the message, take into account the lessons, and take them up on the challenges.


Week 25

Inspiration

This was the first in my #freetoolfriday Instagram series. I love working with free tools — skills, attributes, abilities clients haven’t harnessed effectively, or weren’t even aware of. And leave it to me to mix it up a bit and jump to something that would be unexpected as a tool — disappointment. From what I’ve seen, disappointment can be powerful — and underutilized. Too often, we don’t let others know what’s not working. And that wastes our resources in the form of time, effort, relationships, etc. It sets us back and holds us down.

Application to Leadership Development                  

Why wouldn’t a leader, or someone seeking to develop their effectiveness, want to reserve their energy, preserve their relationships, and seek to improve performance by pointing out what’s not working for them. We, instead, typically err on the side of caution and choose not to rock the boat. Keep in mind: YOU need to weigh your options. What’s the cost of not saying anything? vs. What’s the gain from speaking up about what needs to be improved?


Week 24

Inspiration

I came across this quote by Oprah and appreciated it because, based on my conversations with people who have reached their own definition of success, or are at peace with their place in life and work, it perfectly captures the lessons we should take of challenges. All our experiences sharpen us. Although many people — many of US — are programmed by life, believing we’re victims of our circumstances, the happiest are those who understand they can shape how they view obstacles and their own paths forward.

Application to Leadership Development                  

Much of the advice surrounding challenges, obstacles, and “failure” may sound cliche, but that doesn’t mean the advice isn’t worth heeding. Everything can make us better, even the challenges. In our development, everything we overcome and our resilience set the tone for how we work forward — for ourselves, and others. Look at the challenges in your own life, and consider the great developments you’ve taken away from those experiences. You never walk away with nothing. Consider the value you’ve taken on but maybe weren’t aware of until I just challenged you.


Week 23

Inspiration

This week’s post was a screenshot from Coach It Out’s Twitter account. (Why not cross the streams?) Not all great conversations will take place on one social media or general platform. Similar to ideas you have in networking in your various groups and environments, why not have ideas cross borders from one group into another? This one was especially important because of the power we give our words, beliefs, and thoughts. Much too often, we’re doing our own selves in, caving into what we think and say about ourselves, and, yes, becoming our own worst enemies. But the same way we were always taught to take care in how we treat others, especially with our words, we should do the same for ourselves. Here’s the article referenced in the Twitter post.

Application to Leadership Development

Building off of what I said above, so much of who we become tomorrow is based on who we (think we) are today. Life, work, leadership all start in perception. The words you use dictate (literally) what and who you think you are and how you view yourself in each of those environments. That’s your foundation. So, how strong is your foundation? What and who do you think you are? What words would you use to describe yourself? That might dictate what you deliver more than anything else. What you think truly does set the stage for what you show others and what you experience. So, it’s important for anyone desiring to develop their leadership of others to first determine how they see themselves.


Week 22

Inspiration

Every once in a while, I like to include an image on Instagram about an event or cause I find important. In this particular instance, I posted about Ted Talk Tuesdays (TTT) at WORK_SPACE Manchester. This TTT covered mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. People have asked why I post about things that have nothing to do with my business. I believe it’s important to reflect who and what I support, especially in my community. Businesses shouldn’t only be about the business, but about contributing to the community around us.

Application to Leadership Development

We should always look outside of ourselves, our business, and our circles to see what we can learn about in our community. In this case, we should all learn about mental health and how it might impact those around us, whether they’re friends, family, or colleagues. We should also do our best, for social responsibility purposes, to support other businesses in the community. The better other businesses do in our community, the better our community gets. The more our community thrives, the more we thrive. Making others better makes us better.


Week 21

Inspiration

I added captions to this particular picture because it provided most of what makes each person up, save for some of the most pertinent details that need to be worked out. It reminded me of the Golden Rule vs. Platinum Rule Debate. This picture represented that question, illustrating just how much detail in character, preferences, and needs each person has. And you can’t fill in those details without getting to know them first. Hence, why I prefer the Golden Rule over the Platinum Rule…to start.

Application to Leadership Development

The more I coach, the more I realize how truly customized leadership and its lessons need to be from person to person. No two people can learn, utilize, or make effective leadership lessons in the same way. That uniqueness also extends to those being lead and what we can do for them. We can’t build our leadership without understanding what makes us unique, and how to demonstrate it. Similarly, we can’t help build up others without customizing the approach to what they need. And we definitely can’t know right away what they need (The Platinum Rule). It can’t happen. We first need to learn what they’re all about, by approaching them with how we ourselves would like to be treated, and then proceed from there (The Golden Rule).


Week 20

Inspiration

This one is driven by a common theme I find in most of my client work: People don’t tend to give themselves enough credit or assess their value correctly. And that’s what holds people back the most — not demonstrating your value, not allowing others to both see and benefit from what you can provide. If you don’t know it or realize it, how can you expect anyone else to?

Application to Leadership Development

In order for someone to see the value of your leadership, you need to step up and demonstrate it in some way. And it will likely take the form of your own unique method, style, or approach. It will look different than the leadership of others. We’re all unique, so our value is not cookie-cutter. But it’s on you to determine what the best way is for you to show others what you’ve got and why they need it. Your goal should be to study yourself and your environment and reconcile the two, making sure the benefits of the former are reaching the latter.


Week 19

Inspiration

This post was the culmination of, again, several stories from clients along with my own. People commit more than they will deliver on, without even bowing out gracefully or giving reasons. They just disappear. It shows you who’s out there. It shows you how much further you are and what competitive advantage you have by not being one of those people, by keeping your word and respecting other people’s time.

Application to Leadership Development

It’s simple. Respect everyone. Don’t commit or promise to anyone anything you can’t deliver. Don’t make offers you can’t back up, no matter how small or inconsequential (to you). Yes, it’s important to get out as much as you can to build partnerships. But respect the connections you make and the people you meet. If there’s nothing to pursue, say so, but don’t disappear disrespectfully. That reputation will follow you around. EVERYONE is a customer.


Week 18

Inspiration

Again, this picture stems from a combination of conversations with clients and personal experience. We need to consider how we respond to rejection, whether we get an answer of “No” or no response at all. How you respond dictates how resilient you will be going forward. It shows you what you’re made of. The more value you feel you can provide, the “less hard” — not necessarily easy — it is to push forward with that message of who you are, what you can deliver, and what you’re capable of.

Application to Leadership Development

Rejection is a part of life. If someone who is developing themselves has their game in order, knows their value, and is a quick study of themselves who actually keeps studying, the loss is of the person doing the rejecting. Our lives, careers, and businesses are a matter of getting in front of the people who will appreciate our value. Get to the audience your work deserves!


Week 17

Inspiration

Every once in a while, we’re all going to come across an article that just hits us as something which should already be common sense. This was one of those articles. It’s amazing that we would need a study to confirm the positive impact of checking in on people to determine how they’re doing — or how they’re really doing.

Application to Leadership Development

We should all check in on others around us. Such things as their state of mind, comfort, uncertainty, emotional well-being, etc., impact our relationship with them and the effectiveness of their work. Asking how someone is doing is good for everyone all-around. But mostly, aside from ensuring the work gets done in the best fashion possible, it’s demonstrates basic common courtesy, decency, and respect.


Week 16

Inspiration

More and more, I’m hearing stories about — and having my own experiences with — people ghosting. With regard to any kind of relationship, this means they just drop off and disappear, in essence ditching the partnership without any warning.. So, in building such a relationship, it’s hard to imagine someone who would do something so easily would then be a good, valuable, and dependable partner in the future. So, what they show you today should be your expectation of them tomorrow, especially when a relationship or connection is just getting started. When someone shows you who they a really are, believe them.

Application to Leadership Development

Obviously, those who ghost don’t keep customer service in mind when dealing with others. They don’t feel that their reputation with that person — or the circle of connections beyond that person — is of value. But reputation is everything, and that also goes for people who you may believe can’t do anything for you. Treat everyone with common courtesy, decency, and respect. Don’t let your reputation deteriorate through that kind of negligence.


Week 15

Inspiration

People just really forget how to treat each other, don’t they? Too many people seem to naturally lean toward the belief that others are there to serve them. So, I’ve heard too many stories from clients about, and had too many experiences myself with, people who take, take, take — and that’s it. They get what they need and move on.

Application to Leadership Development

The most effective people you’ll meet, whether they are leaders or not, are those who will look you in the eye, treat you with respect and courtesy, and see their role through. They realize they’re not forfeiting anything in their own lives by making sure someone else is having a great experience. They deliver in the present as well as into the future. They make sure those around them have what they need for today, as well as what they need for tomorrow. Remember: Customer Service — the way you treat everyone around you, not just those who can do something for you — can be your greatest competitive advantage or your most vulnerable Achilles’ Heel.


Week 14

Inspiration

Within my personal or professional life and in the stories of clients, there are too many instances and stories of working with other who make promises or commitments they can’t keep.

You know when you’re dealing with someone who is completely in the game and is aware of the ripple effect of how they interact with, and come through for, others. You also know — or should know — when you’re dealing with someone who takes your time, skill, and drive for granted.

Application to Leadership Development

When it comes to business, career, or life, your word is key. It can be what sets you apart, either in a good way or a bad way. It can draw people to you or push them away. It can build up your reputation, or detonate it. It can exist in outright or subtle actions. It can be your competitive advantage or your Achilles’ Heel. Remember: Everyone is your customer. Whether they pay you or not, your reputation lives through them. How good is your word? How good is your credibility?


Week 13

Inspiration

The world’s issues stem so much from our inability to see someone else’s stance, position, or belief. We’re an all-or-nothing world. Either you accept what I’m selling, or you’re completely against me. But it shouldn’t be that way. It doesn’t make sense. Remaining at the extremes is unproductive and can be dangerous. There are too many people in the world to believe that our own opinions are what should be taking place. There should be balance, compromise, and moderation. None of those options is a zero-sum game.

Application to Leadership Development

We need to try to seek the value in the cases and beliefs of others. We need to open our minds to all kinds of opinions and positions. It doesn’t mean we have to accept them. But elevating a debate to a confrontation leaves its two parties even further apart. And this happens internally as well. You need to moderate between the two extremes of the items listed here. The more you can moderate internally, the more you can understand the need for moderation with others.


Week 12

Inspiration

I read Mr. Prahalad’s words in a book on leadership, and they echoed loudly. We tend to think any part or area of our life is made up of what we bring to the table. In some situations, if we don’t bring anything to the table, we don’t feel it has value. But, that’s wrong. The greatest people, the greatest leaders, see the best in others, whether that’s in someone else’s talent or skill — or intellect in this case.

Application to Leadership Development

Our success is not only built on what we bring to the table — no one can make it alone — but also on how much we see in others. It’s about curiosity. We need to see what other people can provide that we may not. That’s where the truest power of leadership exists — seeing what others are willing to provide, or opening up that which they’re unsure of but in which we see tremendous value.


Week 11

Inspiration

Fear is one of my favorite topics. No one loves being afraid, so it’s not that I love the feeling of fear. I just think fear is so empty — it’s a feeling that has no shape, a creature we create — and yet there’s so much beyond it. If we can get past our self-doubt, there are more people to meet, goals to attain, and legacy to leave.

Application to Leadership Development

Much of the work we have to do is within ourselves. We have to improve what we see in ourselves, and how much we believe in it. We are our biggest obstacles. Yes, people from our past may have contributed to building our fears and what we perceive, but it’s up to us as to how long we keep ourselves crippled and shackled, forfeiting the greatness we can achieve by, in essence, hiding.


Week 10

Inspiration

I came across this picture, and it instantly reminded me of instances of people limiting their own beliefs and confidence because they didn’t fit someone else’s labels. Specifically, this ties in perfectly to those without any form of education. Some get discouraged by the judgments of not having that education. They’re being judged by someone who can offer nothing of REAL value in return. (If someone judges yet provides nothing of value, their words are worthless.)

Application to Leadership Development

We all need to fight through to have our value seen, regardless of what part of life or career we’re talking about. If you don’t fit into someone’s world, design your own. Don’t limit yourself to what’s around you; create what will satisfy you when possible.


Week 9

Inspiration

How could I not go with this picture? I love the visualization of someone going into their fight in the ring and getting ready to do battle. Yeah, the mask makes him look a little crazy. So, upon seeing this picture, I wondered Who’s in this guy’s corner? Who’s supporting him in going out there and doing what he wants to do, yet keeping him in check? Hence, I added that caption.

Application to Leadership Development

So, for whomever might want — or need — to move forward, do they have not only someone in their circles who supports where they want to take their lives, but who also provides support and is honest, possibly coaching them? Who enables your crazy? Who supports you stepping out of the norm to do what you feel you need to do?


Week 8

Inspiration

This is one of my favorite posts, because of its visualization and how it ties into the Aristotle quote. Dr. Banner gave into anger to become The Incredible Hulk. This is similar to what happens to those who get overtaken by something that is different than what they accept. Instead of calmly listening, they go the other way, are triggered and lose the ability to ration.

Application to Leadership Development

We can all learn through this visualization what it means to at least listen to what we don’t agree with. That we don’t have to turn ourselves over to it if we listen. It’s powerful to consider everything and not “turn” up the volume, or away. Hear things through and don’t limit or lose yourself.


Week 7

Inspiration

It is tough to work with someone who doesn’t share your sense of urgency or understand the importance you assign to your time. Don’t limit yourself necessarily based on what others around you are doing — or not doing. It’s important to remember that not everyone will find the things you find important as important as you do. We all move at different speeds. The important thing is to gravitate toward people that share a similar sense of urgency.

Application to Leadership Development

There are moments when coaching clients lose steam for what they want to achieve because others don’t see the same vision. But, they need to keep pushing. One of the hardest parts of life, of career, and/or business is the need to get to where you belong and surround yourself with people with a similar desire for more. Make your way, and find them!


Week 6

Inspiration

This was a tough week to pick just one to break down here, as there were so many great ones. But this one stood out because it’s important to keep in mind everything that didn’t work out, where you didn’t succeed, or where people doubted or dismissed you. Don’t forget those lessons. Show them who you are!

Application to Leadership Development

We are typically OK to move on after talking about our lack of successes, or obstacles, or slip-ups. The hardest part is getting it out of our system and talking about where we didn’t succeed. Once clients get it out of them — when they speak it out loud — they can then get going and build up from that point where they felt they were so low. Those obstacles can be motivators.


Week 5

Inspiration

This one is obviously a favorite! It’s amazing, in listening to others, throughout life, career, and coaching, how much I’ve seen what people will put themselves through — or allow to have themselves to be put through. Too many people tolerate too much! People put up with so much bullshit!

Application to Leadership Development

Whether it’s because we may not believe we deserve more, or we do but just don’t know how to seek it out, it’s important to make the effort to limit and/or eliminate toxicity in our lives. Coaching clients are held back by so much in their lives that they eventually learn to get rid of. You cannot push forward if you’re being held back and down by the toxicity of others.


Week 4

Inspiration

This one was inspired by a spirit of community — especially one’s own ability and desire to contribute to the society around them. People usually — and easily — seem to bitch about how things are subpar around them, whether it be their team, their company, their city or state, etc.

Application to Leadership Development

What are you doing to make things better? You make up the group you may be complaining about (if you are one of these people who complains). What can you bring to the table? People learn that their environment can only reach its true potential if they apply and contribute their own uniqueness to whatever community it may be. Make your environment as great as you can.


Week 3

Inspiration

This one piggy-backed off of Week 2 below. It seemed to capture in one great quote what I was trying to deliver with that 2nd week post. It provides a different angle from which to look at your trials, obstacles, and challenges. It reminds us how much fight we need to have.
I personally don’t like the word failure because it has a negative connotation.

Application to Leadership Development

Not succeeding is not a bad thing. We need to reword what we call it when someone attempts something but is unsuccessful. “Failure” just sounds “less-than.” Those “unsuccesses” truly do sharpen you. They show you your low points, how to get beyond them, and, later, show you how far you’ve come. We all need to take away the lessons of our slip-up’s and learn where we need to improve to move forward.


Week 2

Inspiration

The driver for this post was personal. It’s tough starting a business. You put yourself out there for the world to see, ready to deliver, but not everything goes your way. You get countless “no thanks,” or no responses at all. But all the while, after those forms of rejection, I found powerful partners I otherwise wouldn’t have found if I gave into those initial dismissals. The important thing is knowing what you’re worth and what you can deliver for others. Yes — show them what you’re made of.

Application to Leadership Development

Specifically, this post aimed to share a lesson I and other entrepreneur friends have learned: No matter who says no to you today, someone down the line will say “yes” and make all the pain, self-doubt, and frustration worth it. It really is a game of patience. Keep at it, whatever it is you’re doing.


Week 1

Inspiration

I uploaded this image at a time where the B.S. in Washington D.C. was at an all-time high. The political parties were involved in bitter negotiations with a government shutdown being the ultimate result. The point of this post was to remind us all that no matter what happens in D.C. with our politicians, or in any other area of our life with any other party, person, or group in power, we need to do what we can and dictate our own results as best as possible.

Application to Leadership Development

In order to get better, never give up on controlling what you can. Don’t leave anything in anyone’s hands. Yes, those forces may end up controlling some aspect of our lives, but make sure to offset it, through some other action or commitment on your part, for the your own betterment, and that of others.


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