September…the New January

September offers a clean slate, a new start, and represents a new beginning. Although this September is unlike others before, it is still a change in season with different challenges and opportunities. Due to the disruption of the pandemic, more than ever we have resolutions and habits we want to start. While January is the start of a new year, September/Fall often feels like a good time to make some much-needed changes.

Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before, shares strategies of how to make and break habits. One helpful strategy is the “Strategy of the Clean Slate”. The pandemic has afforded us more time to evaluate our habits and behaviors and determine which ones are working for us and which ones may be holding us back. During times of big transition, old habits may be wiped away and we may be able to form new habits more easily. A change in personal relationships, surroundings such as moving to a new city, a life change like a new job or even minor changes like working in a new room can all offer a “clean slate” to develop new effective habits.

A previous research study has shown that 36% of people who were successful in making significant life changes in their career, education, or health behaviors, associated this success with a move to a new location. We want to take advantage of the start of a new season and take actionable steps toward change.

Take some time to consider: What new habits do I want to adopt this season? What old habits or behaviors could be holding me back from reaching my goals?

What one small, actionable step can I take this week to change or adopt a new habit?

Now is the time to make the changes we need the most.

Sourced from

3 Tips to Drive Innovation

Innovation is important, but few companies are really good at it. Why? In part because leading innovation is different from leading ongoing business operations.

Managers and individual contributors responsible for managing change need more emotional support to take the risks and deal with the uncertainty that makes innovation possible. As a leader you drive innovation when you:

  1. Demonstrate trust and empower. Let your team know that you trust their talents, efforts, and decision making. This will allow them to trust themselves in the midst of the inherent ambiguity of their work.
  2. Keep the purpose of the innovation front-and-center. Keep focus on the benefits that ultimately come from the innovation project. Help those who are striving for innovation to know what they’re doing is important and valuable.
  3. Partner with innovators as equals to contribute and share the risk. Being an equal partner means participating not as a boss, but as part of the team. Sharing the risk means helping your team know that they’re not in it alone.

As a leader you provide this support to your team, and ensure their innovation efforts are sustained and rewarding.

“The difficulty is not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones” – John Maynard Keynes

This article was adapted from Center for Creative Leadership’s 10 Leadership Resolutions for a Successful 2018.

10 Truths for Making Successful Change

Change is inevitable, but intentional change takes work. As a leader you guide your team through changes, and you often act as a change agent yourself. Here are some truths about change management that will help you navigate even the choppiest waters.

  1. Change is about people. You can’t force your will on people. If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire them to change themselves.
  2. Change takes time. Changing hearts, minds, and workplace cultures can’t be done at the snap of your fingers.
  3. Change requires vision. Describe what success looks like, and allow that vision to guide the change process.
  4. Change requires buy-in. Identify who will be affected by the change, and get them involved and invested.
  5. Change means trade-offs. Making new priorities means reducing or letting go of old ones.
  6. Work with the willing. Assemble a team of people who share your vision to champion the change.
  7. Overcommunicate — and then communicate some more.
  8. Listen. Look hard for the useful nuggets in what people tell you, and incorporate them into your plan.
  9. Empower the silent. Reserved team members may be more comfortable communicating their thoughts in private or anonymously.
  10. Learn as you go. Create new learning opportunities and career paths to support the change.

Each of these tools has its place, and success lies in its application. While knowing these tools is important, the role of a leader is modeling the behaviors you want to see your team demonstrating.

3 Good Tips for Dealing with Bad Leadership

We believe that everyone has the potential to become a great leader. Developing leadership skills is hard work, and sometimes you’ll find yourself working with a leader whose skills are a work in progress. If you find yourself in a situation, here are three tips of how you can make your job more bearable:

  1. Own it. Focus on what you can control. What can you do to make the project, meeting or job better? If you get stuck dwelling on the problem, you risk feeding it.
  2. Focus on results. Concentrate on what you need to accomplish by thinking about how your role supports the organization’s success. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re delivering high quality results that align with the organization’s needs.
  3. Ask for feedback. Engaging in a round of healthy feedback without getting defensive can build a bridge to a healthier relationship.

While there are many factors outside of your control, you can own your part in forging a positive relationship with your leader.


“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but how we react to what happens.”
– Wade Boggs

10 Things that Require Zero Talent


Being a leader is about using influence to implement decisions and to gain support for ideas and vision. Especially when it comes to leadership, actions speak louder than words; and when it comes to changing behaviors, oftentimes the best way to lead is by example. You can set that example starting today by following the ten things that require zero talent:

  1. Be on time
  2. Make an effort
  3. Be high energy
  4. Have a positive attitude
  5. Be passionate
  6. Have a positive work ethic
  7. Have effective body language
  8. Be coachable
  9. Do extra
  10. Be prepared

Click here to download the full White Paper to learn about influence and power, as well as the three most effective ways to influence people.


“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Giving Up Control to Create Leaders

In our last newsletter, Assumptions that can Harm Your Coaching Culture; we focused on developing a coaching culture that inspires discovery, reflection, and persistence. This kinds of cultural shifts can require big changes in the landscape of leadership.

This powerful video explores one leader’s high stakes decision to let go of control, and empowering his crew to make decisions.

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves” -David Marquet

12 Challenges First-time Managers Have



An individual contributor or professional getting promoted into his or her first formal leadership position in an organization is one of the biggest and most difficult transitions for any leader. Far too often, the leader and the organization take for granted just how difficult that transition is.

And the numbers prove it: 20% of first-time managers are doing a poor job according to their subordinates, 26% of first-time managers felt they were not ready to lead others to begin with, and almost 60% said they never received any training when they transitioned into their first leadership role.

No wonder 50% of managers in organizations are ineffective. Their ineffectiveness may be the result of not realizing what they are getting themselves into when it comes to leading others, not being supported in their new leadership role, and not being given the opportunity for training and development early enough in their careers as leaders.

Think of the time and money that has to be spent on replacing these ineffective leaders, not to mention dealing with the low morale and disengagement of employees working under these ineffective leaders. This inevitably hurts your leadership pipeline and may eventually hurt your organization’s bottom line.

First-time managers have as much of a right for leadership development as others, but their voices, time and time again, go unheard. They want to do well but so often are struggling at making the transition from individual contributor or professional who does the work and does it well, to a leader who must continue to do the work and more importantly, leads others doing their work. Many first-time managers feel that no one understands what they are going through.

So what can you do to help?

Here’s a simple and doable solution: Understand the struggles first-time managers have and help them overcome the challenges relevant to their new leadership role.

This white paper backs the effort by:

    1. Presenting the 12 challenges first-time managers have, as found by researchers from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) and Davidson College.
    2. Specifically providing detail with the three most-often mentioned challenges:
      • Adjustment To People Management/ Displaying Authority
      • Developing Managerial & Personal Effectiveness
      • Leading Team Achievement
    3. Offering ways for you to help first-time managers effectively deal with these challenges.

The information from this white paper will help you understand the perspective of first-time managers and the struggles they have. You can use the information to support first-time managers
in the most difficult transition they have made so far in their careers, develop them as leaders, and ultimately, strengthen your leadership pipeline.


“As my role transitions from one where I was responsible for my own work as a chemist to now being responsible for leading a team of chemists (in addition to finishing out the current project which I started previously) I find myself lacking the internal tools to effectively do my job. Before I was a good-to-excellent chemist. Now I am an OK chemist and OK manager. Further, many of the attributes which gained me recognition as a chemist are now hampering me as a manager.”

This is what it feels like to be leading other people for the first time in your life in organizations. These quotes from first-time managers (FTMs) give you a glimpse into the difficulties, struggles, and challenges that FTMs face every single day. Their technical savvy, the stuff that helped them get that promotion to management in the first place, won’t fix everything anymore. They can’t concentrate solely on their own work anymore. Now, they are the boss. Now, they have to understand, motivate, and meet the needs of others, many of whom they worked alongside with previously. And these difficulties, struggles, and challenges are not from just a few people.

Many FTMs are part of the largest population of leaders in your organization right now: frontline managers in entry- or first-levels of management. FTMs are your next generation of leaders, the pipeline for the top leadership positions of your organization, and represent the leadership bench strength of your organization. Clearly they are an organizational imperative to success. Yet, the numbers suggest they aren’t treated that way.

Click here to read the full White Paper

“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”- Reed Markham

Join us for Ignite the Leader Within Summit


We are excited to be a part of Ignite the Leader Within Summit!  

From February 13 – February 26, you are invited to participate in this online training summit to learn how to become a better leader, improve team performance and boost your profits from 30+ International Leadership experts! 

Once registered, mark your calendar to listen to our very own Robyn Marcotte’s interview on February 23 with her presenting her biggest Aha! moment as a leader and how she continues to improve her leadership strengths.

Click here to register for this free event!



Don’t have time to listen to the online summit, but still interested in learning more?  You can order Ignite Your Leadership: Proven Tools for Leaders to Energize Teams, Fuel Momentum, and Accelerate Results by clicking here.


“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” –Douglas MacArthur

The Power of YOUR Mindset on YOUR Results

As a team member or leader, you may find yourself asking the question: “How can I make the biggest impact on my client and achieve faster results?”. Answer: change people’s limited thinking, help them adjust their standards, or even change their habits, in order to support their goals. This may begin by encouraging clients to pursue thought-provoking relationships and opportunities, resulting in more thought-provoking results – Big results come from smart thinking.

Below is a simple self-assessment that will trigger thought and action. Think about each question and rate yourself 1 to 10 (1 being low; 10 is high). Next, brainstorm actions you will take to improve yourself in response to your answers. By changing your own habits and mindset, you may also begin to impact those of your clients. This will help you achieve better and faster results.

  1. How is my life working out?
  2. How is my daily attitude; how happy am I?
  3. How are my relationships with my family, friends, co-workers, coaches, and mentors?
  4. How is my health? (weight, overall wellness, self esteem, stress levels, etc.)
  5. How effectively am I feeding my mind? (How many books have I read in the last six months? What do I wish to become? Am I studying productively?)
  6. How do I rate my lifestyle (my satisfaction with activities such as travel, exploring, attending fun events, etc.)?
  7. Where is my income in comparison to where I want it to be?
  8. How often to I give back to others?
  9. How is my goal setting? How satisfied am I with how many goals I have manifested in my life?

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Tony Jeary- Success December 2015

Exciting News!

Robyn Marcotte We at Aha! Leadership are excited to announce we have entered into a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in order to provide clients cutting-edge leadership development resources that are researched and designed by a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development.

In the spirit of continuous development that we inspire in our clients, we, too, model such – creating a strategic alliance with one of the world’s most respected leadership development institutions — CCL.

CCL also recognizes the value of partnering with Aha! Leadership because it helps further CCL’s mission of inspiring greater leadership in businesses and organizations.

I am excited about our relationship with CCL because it allows us to broaden the services we provide our clients, including ground-breaking cultural assessments, or offering new topic-specific workshops for leaders.

Want to hear more? I would love to share more about how our expanded capabilities will enrich and provide exceptional leadership development programs for you. I welcome your call or email.

Robyn Marcotte