8 Mental Habits Of Successful People

Executive CoachingWhen we look at ways to innovate, modify or change ourselves or our business, we often need to look at 3 different things… What do need to START, MODIFY or STOP?  Sometimes, success comes not from what you learn to do but what you learn to stop doing.

That bit of wisdom comes from Sandja Brügmann, serial entrepreneur and founder of the Passion Institute, a recently launched online educational program and consultancy for executives and entrepreneurs. “Once we have developed understanding of how we interfere with our visions and goals, then comes the challenging process of unlearning and changing specific behaviors,” she explains.

Unlearning is hard work. “It requires one to move out of automatic behaviors and into conscious understanding, where we take control of our own actions and lives,” Brügmann says. “It requires confronting uncomfortable feelings and an attentive vision for a different business life.” In fact, she says, it takes many of the same skills that entrepreneurs need to succeed in their businesses. “It’s a real act of self-love at a deep level,” she says. It’s also what you need to do to become a transformational leader.

What are some of the behaviors we all need to unlearn to become effective leaders? Here are the ones Brügmann says she encounters most often.

1. Pleasing

The need to please others comes from fear of not being good enough and fear of being rejected, Brügmann explains. “We engage in pleasing behavior in order to feel that we are OK or loved, but ultimately to make ourselves feel safe,” she says.

This is a behavior even experienced executives often need to unlearn, she adds. It’s a matter of striking the balance between giving too much and giving too little. “It is a learning process to find the middle ground, where giving comes from a centered and whole place–the only place where it can truly be of value to yourself and others,” she says. We need to start by “filling ourselves up,” building both self-confidence and self-care skills.

“It requires a deep understanding that we are good enough and worthy of love and belonging,” Brügmann says. “From there, we are able to truly become caring, giving, and serving leaders, and make a positive impact in our companies and the world at large.”

2. Being fuzzy about boundaries

“Most people need to learn to create better, healthier boundaries,” Brügmann says. Many of her students need to unlearn the belief that saying no is an unkind thing to do. “In truth, learning to say a clean and kind no is a key foundational skill to successful leadership,” she says. “For many of our entrepreneurs, it’s a big aha! moment when they learn that saying no is in fact saying yes to yourself–taking your own business dreams and visions seriously.”

Loose, fuzzy boundaries create dysfunctional organizations, she adds. “Learning to create healthy boundaries and communicating them with empathy and kindness creates clarity, safety, security, and order,” she says. “A good leader sets a clear framework for everyone in order to set his or her entire team up for success.”

3. Not speaking your mind

“Holding back from saying your truth not only creates festering and negative emotions inside the withholder, but also deteriorates relationships and weakens the health of your organization over time,” Brügmann says. This is why unlearning this behavior, and understanding that it benefits no one, is crucial.

It’s not necessarily easy, she adds. “It takes courage and the willingness to learn new assertive communication skills, as well as relational management skills,” she says. “Leaders who do learn these things are exceptionally successful at driving their organizations forward.”

4. Avoiding failure

This is the surest way to kill success, Brügmann says. “Many people have a desire for success and fulfilling their dreams but an unwillingness to fail–or rather a desire to avoid experiencing the painful feelings that can accompany perceived failure,” she says.

Getting over this resistance to failure means moving away from the notion that you are a bad person if you aren’t able to create the successful company you envisioned. “Instead, it’s better to think of failure as the procrastinating behavior that fear holds us in when we never take the chance to live our dreams,” Brügmann says. “Real failure is not taking our inner yearnings seriously enough to try creating them for ourselves.”

5. Letting fear hold you back

“Fear is a natural human emotion, and we all experience it,” Brügmann says. The difference between people who take control of their lives and those who don’t is that the former have learned to cope with and take control of certain fears–which takes a lot of inner work. “It requires self-awareness, willpower, perseverance, resiliency, and a large dose of courage,” she adds. “Entrepreneurial pursuits are not for the faint of heart.”

6. Negative thinking

“When something bad happens and we attribute negative meaning to it about ourselves, we may be heading for a downward spiral,” Brügmann warns. “That’s something we most definitely want to unlearn.”

The solution is to take control of our own thought patterns, she says. For example, no one likes to hear no from a potential client or investor. However, if it does happen, it doesn’t mean that your project is bad or that your idea isn’t a good one.

“It probably has nothing to do with you as a person,” Brügmann says. “Don’t overanalyze it. Don’t make it mean anything positive or negative about you.” No one client or potential investor is the single key to happiness forever, she adds–there’s always someone else to pitch. “Think about what your next move will be to achieve your goal,” she says.

7. Getting really, really busy

“Unfortunately, it’s a common modern-day myth that being busy or having a packed schedule is equivalent to being a person of importance,” Brügmann says. “Gaining self-value and worth solely on the basis of being busy is a dangerous and self-sabotaging behavior that leads to, if anything, a deeper disconnect from your passion, purpose, and true fulfillment.”

Too often, she adds, people start unlearning this behavior only after a major stressor, or perhaps after someone they love leaves them. “Learning to slow way down can be very difficult for some people, especially those who live in overdrive,” she says. “Focusing on stillness, silence, and solitude, however, can be the doorway toward a deeper connection with self. It’s also called getting off the hamster wheel.”

8. Looking for your power outside yourself

“At the center of the storm is calm. Find your steady and centered place within yourself, and stay here as much as possible,” Brügmann advises. That calm place will give you self-confidence and allow you to stay committed to your long-term goals in spite of the short-term ups and downs of business and life.

“If your well-being, peace, and happiness depend on external factors, your level of stress will be too high to successfully stay on the entrepreneurial path for very long,” she predicts. Instead, she recommends trying to stay somewhat detached from external events. “You’ll be able to make better decisions for a larger good,” she says, “instead of just relieving short-term stress or fear.”
To your success,
Michael Stelter
P.S. To take a Test Drive on our system visit  We created the ABC GrowthAcademy System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can learn what you need to STOP doing to grow your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

3 Ways To Show Strong Leadership Today!

3d small people - team with the puzzlesI’ve heard statements like this for years…“I’m not really a leader; I don’t boss people around.”

This was how a young man recently described his leadership style to me. I found it particularly interesting because I had just finished a book that turned many similar assumptions about leadership—for example, that you must be all-knowing, domineering, and highly visible—on their heads.

It’s a simple truth: Leadership has changed. A quick Google search of the term will garner thousands of hits, offering wildly different opinions and approaches to the concept. So how can you effectively position yourself as a rising leader if you don’t know what that should look like?

Whether you want to climb the corporate ladder, strike out on your own one day, or simply become a more influential team member, you’re probably already in a leader in more ways than you realize. To continue working toward that goal, you simply need to readjust your thinking a little. Here are three key things you need to do to prepare yourself to become a leader.

1. Reconsider Your Definition of “Leader”

Effective leadership may not mean what you think it does. And if you are going to hone (and articulate) your abilities, you first need to be able to recognize and practice them.

When we think of leaders, we often think of the stereotype my friend thought of: someone who can effectively order others around. But there is plenty of evidence that other forms of leadership are equally—if not more—effective.

In Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Leaders Into FollowersDavid Marquet argues that a leader is measured not just by what she or he accomplishes, but by the accomplishments of those who work for and alongside that person.

He developed a model called “leader-leader” to replace the typical leader-follower paradigm. The leader-leader model assumes leadership is necessary at every level of an organization. It defies the idea that an organization needs someone at the top to tell everyone what to do, but rather, that organizations need a person who can bring out other leaders in the team.

In Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Adam Grant finds that the most successful people tend to be people who are supportive of those around them. These “givers” are people who recognize ability in others and encourage them in their work. Givers get things done because they draw the best out of those around them and earn their respect and loyalty along the way, creating a powerful and productive team.

This means it’s time to get over the idea that you need formal managerial experience to be a leader.

Think about the time you were part of a group that got stalled on a project and you helped identify individuals who could move each portion of the assignment forward, based on his or her strengths. You may not have been the official group leader, but you stepped into the position and lifted others into leadership roles, as well.

Or, think about the time you taught someone a valuable skill or encouraged someone who was struggling, so he or she was able to work through the issue to complete a project. No matter what your resume says, you’ve had plenty of opportunities to lead others. Think of those experiences, and whenever you need to prove your leadership chops, you’ll have plenty of examples to draw from.

2. Realize Leadership Doesn’t Look the Same for Everyone

Your boss probably has one style of leadership, your cube-mate has another, and the company CEO has yet another—even if each of these people follow the same guiding leadership principles.

One person may be boisterous and energetic in his or her style, while another is quiet, but steadfast. Whatever the style, the most effective leaders are genuine.

What does that mean for you? If you naturally have an energetic and lively personality, don’t try to embody a demure and soft persona, and vice versa. It will exhaust you, and the people around you will be able to tell you aren’t being yourself. Give yourself permission to lead as your authentic self. Figure out your strengths, and build on those.

What that doesn’t mean, however, is that you shouldn’t try to incorporate qualities from others’ leadership approaches into your own as you grow. Think about the leaders you admire. Why do you admire them? How do they treat others? How do they act in a crisis? Consider how you can adapt these qualities to fit your unique style.

At the same time, it’s equally important to acknowledge the behaviors you dislike in the leaders you’ve encountered. How can you avoid engaging in these behaviors? If you recognize some of those habits in yourself, what is your plan for changing your approach?

As you discover and cultivate the style that fits your personality, you’ll find that it’s easier for you to assume a leadership role—because it will feel natural. And that will help you develop into a more confident, capable leader.

3. Learn to Identify and Answer Leadership Questions Like a Pro

Of course, at some point—whether you’re in a job interview or are being considered to lead a project—you’ll probably be asked about your leadership style or abilities.

Some of these questions will be obvious—like, “Do you see yourself as a leader?” Of course, you should answer affirmatively. But don’t stop there. Explain yourself. Now that you’ve thought of ways you’ve been a leader in your past experiences, provide one or two of these examples to make it obvious that you do, in fact, have the right qualities.

However, some questions won’t be so obviously centered on leadership—but it’s your job to find a way to use those questions to showcase those skills. For example, someone might ask, “Tell me about a time you were part of a project that got off track. What did you do?” This question immediately gets to the heart of what employers are really looking for: someone who can influence others in a positive and productive way. This question doesn’t specifically ask for leadership traits, but you can easily use it to demonstrate your ability to be an example for your team, make a strong argument, or rally the folks around you to accomplish a goal.

You don’t need any special powers to be a strong leader. Great leaders and not-so-great leaders come into this world the same way; the difference between the two is their willingness to learn. Take the time to consider what the concept means to you and how you can build on your natural strengths to become the kind of person that people want to follow. Then, put that into action and continue learning from what works and what doesn’t. You’ll make a difference in your workplace, and you will have great examples to share in interviews as you climb to greater heights in your career!
To your success,

Michael Stelter

To take a Test Drive on our system visit

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can strong leadership skills from the key people in your business,  call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

Redefining Small Business Leadership as Stewardship


             Leaders Set The Vision and Culture Of Their Business

Although I tend not to be a church-going adult, I am a business owner and entrepreneur.   I resonate with ‘stewardship’ of resources and assets available to me.  I encourage my clients to integrate their personal beliefs and values into their business.  Primarily because their business is often a strong representation of their character, leadership and commitment to others.

This article was recently written by Terence Chatmon…
The Fellowship of Companies for Christ International is redefining the rules on business. Markets with a conscience thrive.
Most people would say that a business exists to produce shareholders’ value, or profits. This is a true statement of sorts, but can a nation thrive with this belief?
Let me propose a different view.
Business leaders who are integrating biblical principles in their lives and businesses learn that their companies exist for a greater purpose: to honor God, to create wealth and to support the community through Christian service. That is a       different, or redefined, mission statement with eternal objectives.
There are many ways to serve the millions of people in grinding poverty. FCCI, for three decades, has equipped and encouraged Christian business owners to integrate their faith at work, lifting people up, and giving them hope and a future through the marketplace.
The core of America’s economy is small business. Of the 28 million businesses accounted for in our records, 22 million are considered small businesses with fewer than 25 employees — but their impact holds up the arms of America.

Some may say that what makes America great is its vast military, education system and economy. In our opinion, what makes America great are small businesses, whose owners feel called to serve others more than themselves. Not for themselves, but for those who have been given to them to shepherd. These are our true warriors on the front lines of fighting poverty in this nation. These are our true influencers who are making America great again. These are our true shepherds caring for the flock, all for a greater purpose.

Is America in decline? Is the decay of our morals and values eating at the very nerve system of this nation? Can any nation fulfill its constitutional responsibility with a heart for its people? To make America great again, we must start to care about its people again. We must start to care about small business owners who make America great.

Lives are changed when we see ourselves as stewards committed to a greater purpose than self, a greater cause than self. It all changes when our worldview and mindset commit it all to a greater purpose and something eternal. Proverbs 16:3 ESV says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

One of the foundational principles of FCCI is that God owns it all, and we are stewards of what He has entrusted us with. We are to use our earthly resources for His glory, not ours. This is stewardship. A country cannot prosper without this basic underpinning supporting it. Many Christians don’t have an accurate concept of what stewardship is all about. When we hear the word “stewardship,” most of us think about the program at church where we are asked to increase our contributions to the budget. Unfortunately, that is a narrow view.

“Stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, material possessions and all God’s gifts to us based on the conviction that these are a trust from God, to be used in his service, for the benefit of all mankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love,” John Haggai wrote in his book “The Steward.”

Essentially, we are managers of God’s possessions, all of which He owns.

It is not the wallet but the heart of a man or woman that makes us strong. A heart redefined will make America strong, nurtured by principles that will shape the very core of our nation. No nation can thrive with an inward, selfish focus. We must look beyond ourselves and love something or someone other than self.
If you would like learn more about how you can provide powerful leadership by integrating your personal values and beliefs into the Vision and Culture of your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

11 Insights From Famous Coaches That Apply To Small Business Owners

Employee Screening

Leadership Is Getting Everyone To Buy Into The Vision

Small business owners can relate to football coaches’ winning leadership advice

It’s no accident the 2nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes football team is also the most valuable program in college football. The program has business built into it, from the head office (Athletic Director Gene Smith studied business at Notre Dame and worked for IBM) to the playing field. Head football coach Urban Meyer has leadership coaches on the sidelines for every game, and hosts regular business seminars for student athletes.

Tim and Brian Kight, co-owners of leadership training firm Focus 3, drill one primary lesson into Meyer’s players’ heads: E+R=O. That is, your reaction (R) to an event (E) is a huge factor in its outcome (O).

It’s a lesson drawn from business leadership—one that most small business owners can relate to.

Small business owners are facing down situations they can’t control every single day. Regulations change, employees call off, customers leave nasty online reviews. It’s how you respond to the action on the field that determines whether your company takes a hit or scores big.

Here are words of wisdom from 10 other winning coaches to inspire business owners this fall:


On Team-Building:

“The secret of winning football games is working more as a team, less as individuals. I play not my 11 best, but my best 11.”

—Knute Rockne, coached Notre Dame (UNT Center for Sport Psychology)

On Success:

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”

—Vince Lombardi, coached the Green Bay Packers (

On Preparing for the Unexpected:

“Making judgments under severe stress is the most difficult thing there is. The more preparation you have prior to the conflict, the more you can do in a clinical situation, the better off you will be.”

—Bill Walsh, coached the San Francisco 49ers (Harvard Business Review)

On Focus:

“Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business. … It’s the process of what it takes to be successful.”

—Nick Saban, coaches the University of Alabama (New York Times) 

On Hard Work:

“There are many people who don`t know what real pressure is. Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”

—Barry Switzer, coached the University of Oklahoma (Chicago Tribune) 

On Losing:

“Losing doesn’t make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder.”

—Bear Bryant, coached the University of Alabama (

On Leadership:

“Positive leadership, in my mind, comes from two things…No. 1 [is] do your job. No. 2 [is] put the team first.”

—Bill Belichick, coaches the New England Patriots (ESPN)

On Decision-Making:

“Not making a decision is the worst thing you can do. So long as you feel you made the right decision based on the information you had at the time, there’s no need to fret about it. If it fails, you’ll know what to do next time.”

—Bo Schembechler, coached the University of Michigan (Bo’s Lasting Lessons)

On the Cost of Success:

“Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.”

—Woody Hayes, coached Ohio State University (commencement address)

On Public Relations:

“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

—Paul Brown, coached the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (Men’s Health)
If you would like learn more about how you can provide strong leadership to your team to get the types of results these coaches have seen, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

6 Phrases Great Leaders Use Alot!

Leadership DevelopmentHere are some great lessons that I’ve learned in the last 35 years of being in a position of a manager or a leader.

You manage things, You lead people

Whether you’ve just started training your first hire or you’ve been managing scores of people for decades, you’re in the position of being a leader. And if there’s one aspect of leadership that holds true regardless of staff size or industry, it’s that being one isn’t for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart.

So much of your job isn’t about hitting goals, but rather about being rooted in reality, constantly striving to bring perspective and empathy to whatever situations you encounter. Sometimes, finding the right words can be the biggest challenge of your day. But other times, you’re overthinking it and it’s as simple as saying these six tiny sentences:

1. “Don’t sweat it”

Your brand new hire accidentally sent out the typo-riddled draft of an email to your customers. The inbox is inundated with complaints. You have two choices right now: Tell your direct report how much he’s messed up or look him in the eyes and say, “Don’t sweat it.” After all, it was clearly a mistake, and he let you know as soon as it happened (if that’s not the case, then, obviously another tactic’s needed).

Why it matters

A great manager knows that it’s a waste of time to wallow and worry about a past we can’t change. And unless this person’s a repeat mistake-maker (or, as mentioned above, not really aware or bothered by the error), it isn’t productive or beneficial to the company to turn up the heat and risk even more mishaps because this person’s now paralyzed with fear, afraid to take any next steps.

2. “What was learned?”

We’ve all been there. And hindsight is indeed 20/20. So why not use this as a learning lesson by asking your entire team what this incident had to offer in the way of teachable moments?

Why it matters

True leaders know that failure’s just an opportunity to learn and do better. And if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying. Progress over perfection is key to growth and to success, both for individuals as well as corporations. And as leaders, it’s really our responsibility to mentor and teach our staff how to learn from mistakes, rather than to fear them.

3. “Speak your mind”

You may not always like or agree with what they have to say, but you’re far better off with a team who’s unafraid to speak up, instead of a bunch of “yes” men and women. Empowering individuals to speak their minds helps to ensure you’re at far less risk of turning into the Emperor With No Clothes.

Why it matters

A confident leader knows that questions are good and that great ideas aren’t tied into titles, position, or even tenure. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers is scary, but doing so offers up so much more—not only in getting the best end product, but in getting the team to feel that they are an important part of the process (which, bonus, leads to more ownership and accountability).

4. “I support you”

I have a paperweight that reads, “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?” Think about it. What might your team do differently if they knew they wouldn’t fail, or if they knew that even if they did, you, the boss, had their backs? Too often it seems that when the sh*t hits the fan, everybody ducks for cover and the finger pointing blame games begin. How much more proactive would we all be if accountability and responsibility were shared and we never felt alone?

Why it matters

Brave leaders are the ones who embody all the characteristics of the heroes we idolize in books. They are the ones with the magic wands and the shiny swords who in the heat of battle lead the charge and protect their subjects. Managers can accomplish much of the same by saying that “the buck stops here” and meaning it. Aside from the courage that doing so instills in everyone, a fierce loyalty builds as a result, and these two things have the power to build brands and boost bottom lines like nothing else.

5. “Just say no”

How many of us have hundreds of to-dos in the queue? How many of us fantasize of saying “no” the next time we’re asked to take on a new project? Well, guess what? Your team’s wondering the same of you. So the question is why don’t we “just say no?”

Because it takes confidence to do so. But for inspiration, we need not look far: Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs famously said: “…I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

“No” is a very powerful word and a tool to use to make sure we’re staying the course and not getting side-tracked by every shiny new opportunity that comes our way.

Why it matters

A good boss has to have the confidence to believe in her ability to make the right decisions for what will be priority for all to follow. That same person has to be comfortable with letting go of thousands of other opportunities, even if later on one of those not chosen turns out to be one that should’ve been. We can’t do it all. And smart people know that when we try to do it all, we most often only succeed in diffusing our power to do anything well. And that is when we become mediocre and less than successful.

6. “I don’t know”

Of all the three little words that I have put to use throughout my own career, “I don’t know” seems to be the phrase that surprises and delights everyone. I’ve been told by my own CEO that one of the reasons she chose to hire me was because during my interview I actually confessed that I didn’t know the answer to a question—but that I would do the necessary research to find out.

Why It matters

Some might think that admitting lack of knowledge would spell doom. But that’s the difference between a brave leader and a coward. Abraham Lincoln surrounded himself with people in his cabinet who knew more than he did on various subjects. Henry Ford chose to do the same. After all, transparency, vulnerability, truth, being real and trustworthy are the characteristics that make a boss a real leader.
These are just a few examples of the three little words some of the leaders with whom I’ve worked have been brave enough to say. And not only have I benefited putting them to use throughout my own career—but maybe even more importantly, so, too, have my teams
To take a Test Drive on our system visit

To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.
If you would like learn more about how you can get help becoming a more effective Leader, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.