Tony Mayo’s Blog: Tools, Techniques, & Thoughts

tony-mayo-photo

 

I use this blog to collect and make available some of my articles, insights, and guidance for the top executives I coach. My clients can easily find my best advice on goal setting, running meetings, stress reduction, and other topics important to anyone running a business. You can even learn how–and why–to meditate. I have videos, instructions, posters, and research results on this blog and a podcast on iTunes.

You are welcome to use all this in your work and to pass any of my posts along to your colleagues. I only ask that you preserve the attribution to me and not alter the content.

To contact me by telephone or email, click here for the “About Tony Mayo” page. A video that answers the most common questions asked by prospective clients is also available here..

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You can read what some of my clients have said
about my coaching by clicking here for “
Client Comments.”

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to Tony’s new book.

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University of Chicago Alumni Career Webinar

Mind Your Career Webinar:
Would I Benefit from Coaching?

From the University of Chicago website:
Kick-start your New Year with executive coach and dual alumnus, Tony Mayo, AB’77 MBA’78.

  • Differences between coaching, consulting, mentoring, managing, therapy, training, and just plain friendship.
  • Basic logistics of what it costs, how much time it takes, how to know if it is working, and how long the results last.
  • Finding, selecting, and getting started with an executive coach.
  • What topics and concerns are best addressed with coaching.
  • Typical components of a coaching conversation.

Click here for links to the companion articles mentioned in the presentation.

 


 

The following transcript is included mostly for the search engines. If you want to read along with the video, just turn on the YouTube subtitles.

(more…)

Coaching is NOT Therapy

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one but the light bulb must truly want to change.

How many executive coaches does it take to change a light bulb?

Executive coaches know better than to change anyone. Clients don’t need more changes. They want more and better choices.

The distinction between therapy and executive coaching was established early and is important to respect. The International Coach Federation states it clearly, “Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship between two or more individuals.” Therapists discover what’s wrong and fix it. Coaches nurture what’s right and unleash it. Fundamental to my executive coaching is, “The most powerful stance for effective action is: I’m fine and I choose to try something else.” As Carl Rogers emphasized, growth requires a safe environment. If the adviser’s job is to find the client’s flaws and errors, he must adopt an attitude of detachment and superiority. On the other hand, great executive coaches have so much respect and admiration for their clients that I can’t help loving mine.

The differences between fixing people and respecting them, between finding problems and generating possibilities, between change and choice, between labeling and loving, between consulting and coaching make all the difference in the world.

 


 

Expanded 2nd Edition of My First Book

The Courage to Be in Community Expanded 2nd Edition


 

Tony’s short book on building community is now available
with an extra chapter and a guide to additional resources.

The new chapter is a simple, practical guide to building better relationships at work and at home. The focus of the book is the importance of compassion and authenticity, while this new section is all about implementation, with specific advice on how to be compassionate and authentic in your day-to-day life.

This expanded edition also includes links to recommended books and articles for further study and practice.

Click here to “Look Inside” & see a sample on Amazon.

➤ Paperback , hardcover, and Kindle available on Amazon!

➤ Paperback and hard cover available on Barnes and Noble!

 

iTunes Spoken word version available on Audible

Audio version read by Tony Mayo also available.

 To hear a sample click here for Audible or iTunes.

 

 


Amazon #1 best seller

Comments from Listeners

 

“Powerful, simple message we can all immediately apply to our lives.”

“More of an invitation than a sermon, the message is not religious in nature and the message is universal. Tony leaves us with an opportunity to live richer, more expressive lives.”

“Covers a lot of meaningful ground in a handful of pages – brings together courage, bravery, belonging, acceptance, compassion and more–and backs it up with insights, experience, resources, and references!”

“You did not speak just to fill the time; each sentence added to the whole.”

“Tony, I have it on good authority that your sermon this last Sunday was about the best ever.”

“We were inspired by what you shared and how you shared it. Thank you.”

 


 

The Courage to Be in Community, 2nd Edition:

A Call for Compassion, Vulnerability, and Authenticity

by Tony Mayo

The word courage originally meant “to speak and act from the heart,” or cour in Latin. Courage is required to express our deepest and most authentic selves because we so often fear judgment, rejection and exclusion. How do we balance the universal human needs of authenticity and acceptance in our personal lives? How might we foster communities where others have the courage to be truly themselves with us?

 


 

Executive Coach Tony Mayo drew on the research of Brené Brown, Joseph Campbell, and others to compose this enthusiastically received non-sectarian sermon.  Originally delivered to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston at their Sunday services on January 26, 2014, it has now has been revised and expanded for publication.

 


 

Improving Delegation

Delegation

Delegation: Let’s keep it simple.

  1. Find someone who will accept responsibility for the desired outcome.
  2. Explain that you do not have the time and/or expertise to design the solution.
  3. Ask the person to propose an approach which you have some confidence (not certainty) will succeed with the resources agreed to, e.g., hours, budget, tools, deadline, etc.
  4. Don’t abdicate, delegate: follow-up frequently on progress and impediments to show that you still value the outcome, perhaps using something like my progress report format.

“Give as few orders as possible,” his father Duke Leto had told him… once… long ago. “Once you’ve given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.”

Dune by Frank Herbert
p. 628 Penguin Publishing Group

Which tasks should you delegate? See this post, 3 Ds of Delegation

 


 

A Simple Habit That Can Boost Productivity

NASA-DC-9-cockpit


Repeat Back
&
Report Back

Here is a simple habit that can boost productivity in your organization. One client credits this technique for an 18% increase in annual revenue with a reduced headcount. It takes practice but quickly becomes second nature.

I brought this method into the workplace from my flight training. Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) must communicate precisely and briefly while also executing specialized tasks. Misunderstandings in aircraft can have horrible consequences, so specific communication techniques are required. Many of the most serious accidents are caused by failure to follow these practices, including the 1977’s Tenerife Airport Disaster, commercial aviation’s deadliest incident.

Talk may be cheap but miscommunication is costly.

Have you ever listened to the (more…)

What Evil Lurks in the Design of Public Companies

CofC_milgram

 

Too many jobs are perfectly constructed to elicit inhumane behavior. Read my book to learn how it got this way.
 

The most fundamental lesson of our study:

 

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.

 

Even when asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

 

—Professor Stanley Milgram, PhD
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
Perennial Classics 2009 p. 6.

Professor Milgram was responsible for two psychological studies that became well-known by the general public while having almost no positive influence on government or corporate structures, the “administer a painful shock” compliance experiment and the “Small World” six degrees of separation demonstration.

 


 

Business Book Includes Thanks to Authors’ Executive Coach

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I am pleased and flattered that my clients, Chris Haddon and Jason Balin, gave specific, detailed credit to me and some of my techniques in their new book, The Whiteboard: Go From Blank Canvas to a Productive, Leveraged and Highly-Profitable Business. Here is just one paragraph.

We sought out our executive coach, Tony, to show us the most strategic, effective way to design our success. A business coach will help you make the right moves at that right times consistently; it’s a precise recipe for getting ahead. Our decision to partner with an executive coach has been a very fruitful investment. By working with Tony, we were able to meet our ten-year business goal in three years. That’s the power of having an expert help you structure your decisions and career movements on a regular basis. Having a career coach isn’t a luxury; it’s smart business and smart living.

 


 

Time for Public Companies to Evolve

CofC_blood

Does your job trigger primitive survival instincts? My book presents alternatives.

Those best equipped to compete mercilessly for food, ward off any threat, dominate territory, and seek safety naturally passed along their genes, so these self-centered impulses could only intensify. But sometime after mammals appeared, they evolved what neuroscientists call the limbic system, perhaps about 120 million years ago. Formed over the core brain derived from the reptiles, the limbic system motivated all sorts of new behaviors, including the protection and nurture of young as well as the formation of alliances with other individuals that were invaluable in the struggle to survive. And so, for the first time, sentient beings possessed the capacity to cherish and care for creatures other than themselves.

Although these limbic emotions would never be as strong as the ‘me first’ drives still issuing from our reptilian core, we humans have evolved a substantial hard-wiring for empathy for other creatures, and especially for our fellow humans.

–Karen Armstrong
Fields of Blood and the History of Violence
Knopf, 2014 page 7

 


 

Make New Habits with My 1 Page Annual Calendar

 


 

Here is a simple yet powerful tool to establish habits, learn a skill, or complete a project.  I used it to reinforce my daily meditation practice and to write two books.

The method is as old as procrastination but has been attributed recently to billionaire comedian Jerry Seinfeld, as in this frequently cited LifeHacker article, where it is called Don’t Break the Chain. I prefer positive instructions, so let’s name it Link-a-Day.

1 Page Annual Calendar

Buy or make a simple, clean one year calendar. Do not just print your Outlook or Google calendar; those have too many distracting details for this purpose. You can start your own on any date and fit 365 days on one sheet by downloading my template here in Excel format or use the Google Sheets version here.

Place your calendar in the physical world rather than in a computer or app where it can hide. Hang it where you will see it everyday. I put mine on the wall right next to my computer monitor. After you complete the promised activity for the day, mark it complete. When you miss a day or two, start again. No regrets, no excuses. Just start again. You can play games with Link-a-Day by playing for a longer unbroken chain or a shorter gap than last time.

That’s it. As Aristotle observed, a person is what she consistently does. Use this to start doing something you will be proud to be.

 


 

Meet the Author & Book Signing

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Book Signing

Reston author Tony Mayo will meet readers, sign books, take questions, and conduct readings.

Small Business Saturday

Saturday after Thanksgiving
November 28, 2015
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Reston’s Used Book Shop
Lake Anne Plaza
1623 Washington Plaza N
Reston, Virginia 20190 (703) 435-9772