Feb 02 2010

Your Business’s Psychological Health

Is Your Business


A Headcase?


The word therapy may sound ominous to the business mind. It evokes the specter of illness, or worse, of craziness. That should not be. Therapy is part of education. Therapy teaches us through personal experience about who we are and how we became that way. Therapy teaches us how personal responsibility plays a role in who we are. Therapy teaches us how we relate to others and how important other people are in the conduct of our lives. And therapy helps us claim our freedom and take charge of our lives. These are all elements of growing up and getting a complete education.”

–Dr. Peter Koestenbaum, in his groundbreaking book of 1987: The HEART OF BUSINESS

     If this seems like a strange and out-of-place subject for you, let me assure you that it is extremely relevant. Why? Because every business –like every human– has problems to solve that have been created and nurtured internally. And, more often than not, a great many of these are denied and consciously or inadvertently glossed over by the boss.

     If you were to distill down all my years of diverse career experiences into one defining function, it would be that I have been a reality therapist to businesses. Powerful corporate executives, entrepreneurs, sales and healthcare professionals alike have called me in the middle of the night, reduced to tears. They have called on the verge of lighting fuses to blow up their businesses.

     I’ve seen business temper tantrums where filled file folders, office equipment, and even scalpels were flung in rage across offices and into doors. Because businesses that needed therapy, that were being run by owners and managers who refuted the need for it, had no place else to bury upsets but inside the troubled stressed-out minds of their leaders.

     Every person and every business, I believe, can benefit by some degree of professional therapy engagement at some point, perhaps continuously, in their lives. Therapy need not be as threatening or embarrassing as Hollywood would have us believe, nor as intimidating as the naysayers around us claim.

     The truth is therapy can be extremely enlightening, masterfully empowering, and a magnet for improved mental, physical, and emotional good health — the secret keys to increased sales!                  

     It may be useful to pause here and be reminded that the feelings of being threatened, embarrassed, and intimidated –like those feelings of enlightenment, empowerment, and improved health — are all behaviors and all behaviors are choices. Why choose negative over positive? Because of some fear? If the fear is not genuine, realistic, and physical, it is imagined; it is fantasy; it is also a choice!

     Many businesses fail because the leaders operate under a self-fulfilling prophecy that a business is beyond repair and nothing can be done to save it. The economy. The bank. The landlord. Lousy sales. Lazy employees. Products or services without real benefits or competitive advantages. No future. Poor track-record. They fail.

     The fix? Hire an informed, experienced, fresh, outside perspective to shrink out your business and coach your leaders.

     Savvy business owners and managers recognize that the business needs to be considered a living, breathing organism, and treated as if it were a separate individual entity apart from the paperwork, computer files, and physical workspace.

     In this context, business therapy can be a healthy and productive intervention capable of turning problems into opportunities. The distance from survive to thrive is measured in receptive leadership that’s willing to explore and innovate.


Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Aug 01 2009

Lighten Up Management Trainers!

It’s the Lightening Up


of Corporate America!


     You’re a management trainer and corporate economic climates have taken the wind out of your sails. You’re looking around for community college adult education courses to run. You’re doing drips and drabs of HR consulting with some old friends. Times are tighter than your shoelaces. 

     Stop beating yourself up; stop doing all the things you’ve always advised and taught others to not do. Take some of those deep breaths you advocate. The message is this: L-I-G-H-T-E-N    U-P ! Lighten up the programs you’re proposing. Companies do not want any in-depth, heavy-duty, psycho-analytic training programs for their managers right now!

     They want L-I-G-H-T agendas combined with good relaxing fun and team-building. Corporate America may be stupid about growing business and productivity ratios and revenue streams and job creation, but they know when it’s time to lighten up the stress that their loyal managers have been shouldering. 

     And it’s time now.

     I had my own management training company for many years. I ran over 2,000 workshops and training programs, and had over 20,000 participants in 50 different cities and half a dozen different countries.

     It was everything from Maslow’s Hierarchy to Quality Circles, One-Minute Manager, TA, Theory X, TheoryY, Theory Z, Empowerment, Assertiveness Training, Anger Management, and my own inventions: Corporate Entrepreneurship, Doctorpreneurs and Teacherpreneurs.  

     Then is not now. Then corporate executives charged trainers with the responsibility to teach them how to be better, more effective, more efficient, more productive executives and how to be better humans. This took some doing, and tons of analytical diagnostics and psychotherapy.

     Today, the word is L I G H T. As in S I M P L E and having F U N while gaining firsthand leadership and teamwork experiences with fellow employees. A best buddy of mine, Kevin Bousquet, who runs Interlaken Inn Executive Resort & Conference Center www.InterlakenInn.com in Northwest Connecticut, agrees.

     You may have seen my plugs here for Interlaken. It truly is THE premier business escape (2 hours/NYC and 3 hours/BOS) with the finest location, facility, amenities, meals, service AND budget-conscious prices that any management trainer or meeting planner will find. (If you call, tell Kristy I sent you and get a special gift!)

     Kevin tells me that the programs that are having the most success are those with the least stress and the most fun. Not all fun and games, but fun and learning. Interlaken’s Executive Ropes Course, lakefront boating and golf options and gourmet challenge programs are the busiest and most talked-about. Dump the heavy stuff!

Think of it as the Lightening Up of Corporate America!  

# # #  

Input always welcome: Hal@BusinessWorks.US

(”Businessworks” in subject line) or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals and God bless you! 


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