Does Your Work Environment Create Top Performers?

By Wayne H. Ottum

“Select a person, set expectations, motivate the person and develop the person… If a company’s managers are unable to play this role well, then no matter how sophisticated its systems or how inspirational its leaders, the company will slowly start to disintegrate.”
Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman in ”First, Break All the Rules” 1999.

The professional development aspect of the culture of an organization has an enormous impact on its ability to continually and effectively reach its strategic objectives. In order to create an environment that fosters top performance in the pursuit of these objectives, an organization must Lead from Strength™. In fact, the quote above is from the book that started the “strength” movement when the Gallop organization studied and reported on what makes a great manager in the book entitled, First, Break all the Rules. The result? Those great managers “broke all the rules” that focused on determining and “fixing” the weaknesses of their staff. Instead, these great managers discovered the particular strengths needed for the particular role, aligned staff’s strengths to those roles and then set expectations, motivated and developed those strengths.

To determine if you are creating an environment that fosters success now and in the future, we encourage you to ask your employees the following 10 questions routinely and continually: Read more

Living Intentionally

The power is yours to create the life of your dreams with a clear vision!

You may have heard a few of these quotes in your lifetime, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” (George Harrison).  Or, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you will wind up somewhere else!” (Yogi Berra).  We really like these quirky little quotes because they capture the true essence of what happens when you’re not in the driver’s seat, actively navigating your life, and living intentionally.  They also touch on the extraordinary power available to you by honing a clear focus, choosing a direction in alignment with who you are, and creating a compelling vision of the life of your dreams.

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5 Things to Do Right Now to Start Your Business Year off Right!

by Wayne Ottum

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.“- Chinese Proverb

The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

The holidays were fun (or stressful, depending on your point of view) but it’s a New Year and time to get back to business.  So, what can you do right now to help your business off to a great start? Here are 5 things… Read more

Embrace Your Strengths, Solve Your Weaknesses!

by Wayne Ottum

“At times, our strengths propel us so far forward we can no longer endure our weaknesses and perish from them.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

How do you simultaneously solve your weaknesses through a focus on your strengths? It starts by understanding the three types of weaknesses.

Three Types of Weaknesses

Weaknesses can be broken down into three categories, as shown in the following diagram:

LiFS Weaknesses Chart Flat

Perceived Weaknesses: Weaknesses that others, and often we ourselves, perceive in us. It looks something like this… An individual has the ability to command and control any situation. They can step in, take charge, and get results. This is a great and highly valued strength. Unfortunately, many people perceive someone like this as pushy, bossy, or controlling. Thus, they “perceive” this person’s strength as a weakness. This “perceived weakness” is actually that person’s strength, taken to extreme, without consideration for the potential negative consequences of this natural way of thinking, feeling and behaving.

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Dan Hurst

I was just taking a minute to think about the workshop you conducted and wanted to again share my appreciation.  The level of passion, effort, and care that you have shown has exceeded my expectations.  I felt the workshop was a great success.  You delivered what you promised, it took on a life of its own, and you guided the process effortlessly while providing a safe place for everyone to share ideas. So far all the feedback I have gotten has been positive and everyone really enjoyed your facilitation.  I am sure I speak for Pat as well when I say, thank you, and we are really looking forward to the challenges and hard work that lie ahead.

Listen to Wayne Ottum on Voice of America Empowerment Radio

KDMarlee-show-descriptionListen to the interview on Voice America Empowerment Radio, recorded on October 17th, 2014, with the founder of Ottum Enterprises, Wayne Ottum where he discussed the principles behind his book Live from Strength with hosts K D Marlee on their show “B-MyTe: Balancing Your Money and Your Time.” Click here or on the image to your right to listen to the show.

Katie Walsh

I am so grateful to have met you during my visit to get advice about starting a nonprofit organization five years ago. You have truly been an amazing mentor over the years, and I appreciate all the help and guidance you have continued to provide. Thank you for finding the time to always help me with my different requests whether it be questions about running a business, networking, or with my homework. You are amazing!  Thank you very much!

Teresa Richter

Wayne is an amazing business coach. He really takes the time to personally get to know each individual and their unique situation. He is able to offer personalized and unique suggestions and solutions as part of building the business plan. His style emphasizes focusing on each person’s unique set of strengths to learn how to deal with situations that may arise, and to do business in alignment with who they are. Wayne’s method is freeing because it allows you to be who you are and to let go of any true weaknesses.

Creating Your Own Economic Recovery

As business owners, we know that the economy is a major factor in the success of our business and we want to do all we can to impact the economy and turn it around.  Also, when the economy is running through a rough patch, or a recession, in this case, it impacts our business whether we like it or not.  So what do we do about it?  How do we create our own economic recovery?

One might think that the answer is looking at the major drivers of the economy and attempting to impact or control them.  According to Jonathan Golub, USB Chief US Economic Strategist, who spoke recently on the Kudlow Report on CNBC, the major actors in today’s economy are 1) policy makers, 2) corporations (mainly, large corporations), 3) consumers and 4) investors.  Looking at these actors, the question becomes which of these can you impact or have any degree of control over?  The answer: Unless you are a large corporation or a major player in your industry, virtually NONE!

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Marie Maguire

Wayne Ottum provided me with guidance during the start up of my business. He understands strengths and communication styles and did an excellent job in guiding me to build a business completely in line with who I am. He is uniquely gifted at drawing one’s best qualities to the surface to influence decisions in a positive way. My business is thriving because of all that Wayne brought to the conversation.