14 Years – You Have The Answers (WT728)

14 Years – You Have The Answers (WT728)


WT 728 14 Years. You have the answers

Today we celebrate 14 years of writing a weekly thought and we haven’t missed one single week in all that time.

I am very proud of this achievement.

I am very proud of my commitment.

As I reflect back over the years, having started my business in October 2006, both the business and the Weekly Thoughts have evolved.

When I first started my business and attended networking events, people would ask me who I worked for.

I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “myself”.

That wasn’t a great answer.

They asked what I did.

I told them, “I help business owners streamline their systems and processes”.

They would reply, “Oh, you’re an IT person.”


What I found was that when I finished a project and left the business to continue, the new systems often fell over.

Why was this?

It was because the owners and managers didn’t know how to lead and manage their people.

Evolution number 1 – I started coaching them one to one.

Evolution number 2 – I invested in more leadership training and offered small intimate intensive Leading Yourself and Leading Others experiences.

Evolution number 3 – as I learned more about mindset and neuroscience, we included Possibility into our framework of People and Process.

Evolution number 4 – changing the name Possibility to Potential.

Evolution number 5 – realizing that my clients are wanting High Performing Businesses with high performing people, high performing processes and high performance potential.

Over the years, most of my work has been word of mouth.

People would say to their colleagues, “You need to speak to Shirley”.

Speaking to some clients recently, asking them why they work with me and what benefits do they get, they all answered with a similar answer:

“I came to you because I was stuck. I didn’t know which way to turn. I didn’t know what to do. You listened to me. You didn’t interrupt. You allowed me to speak and then you reflected back what I had told you. Much like a mirror. When I heard myself through your voice I could easily evaluate what was going on. I found the answers and if I didn’t find the answers, you gave me the tools to find the answers.”

I just love that I can help you find your answers.  You have them inside of you.

Sometimes we just can’t see the label from inside the jar.

So this week, I want to thank you.

Thank you for being part of our community.

Thank you for allowing me to help you find your answers.

Thank you for being open to grow and develop.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Happy anniversary!

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

You Have To Dress For The Job You Want (WT726)

You Have To Dress For The Job You Want (WT726)


WT 726 Dress for the job you want

This week’s inspiration comes from one of my favourite clients and his Operations Coordinator.

As I sat wondering what this week’s thought would be, Ray called to give me a business progress update.

He started the conversation with, “I changed my life today”.

“What did you do? Sell the business?” I asked.

“No”, he replied. “I was vulnerable with my team and shared my vision for the business. I wanted them to see things from my perspective.”


Knowing Ray as I do, I asked him what the turning point was.

“I have to give credit to Kim” he said.

“When I shared my vision, she responded with ‘You have to dress for the job you want’”.

“As soon as she said that, I knew she was right. I had to start acting as if I was the CEO of the type of business I envision.”

“I took action straight away. I restructured. I delegated (not abdicated) and empowered the team. I’m feeling good after coming from a place of feeling wrung out.”

Hearing this made me feel so happy too.

I was happy for Ray. I was happy for Kim. I was happy for the team, the customers and the suppliers.

It’s a great reminder. Thank you Kim.

You have to dress for the job you want.

In a way it’s similar to “Act as If”.

We know that in order to have what we want, we have to be fully aligned to the result. When you dress and act as if you already have it, your unconscious mind will go to work to ensure the external matches the internal.

What is the job you want?

How do you have to dress and act?

I’d love to hear your progress report.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

I Don’t Always Want A Hamburger (WT725)

I Don’t Always Want A Hamburger (WT725)


WT 725 I don't always want a Hamburger

Are there things you want to do that you talk yourself out of?

This was the case for David last week.

As we talked he shared that he wanted to become a business coach.

He had experience, results and big achievements in Sales, Systems and Strategy.

He’d worked in the real estate industry and manufacturing.

“What’s stopping you?” I asked.

“Well, I can’t really go into the real estate industry”, he replied.

“How come?”

“There are so many other coaches in that industry already” he said, as he began to list half a dozen names.

I knew the people he was referring to and even added a few more names.

“And they’re not all the same”, I said.

“No”, he agreed. “Some you either love or hate but there’s no room for me.”

“That sounds like a limiting belief”, I offered.

“Yes, but….” He replied.

I remembered the story of Kirsty or Kristy. I can’t remember her name or all the details but what I do remember is that she was a real estate agent in Darwin who moved to Tasmania and absolutely blitzed the industry.

She had had the same thoughts initially.  That there were already too many agents, so how could she be successful and yet she was.  In fact, she became so successful by doing things her way that she ended up teaching others.

So what has this got to do with hamburgers?

As I explained to David, “I don’t always want a hamburger”.

He looked at me quizzically.

“Do you sometimes get takeaway food?” I asked.

“Yes”, still puzzled.

“Do you always get the same thing or do you mix it up? For example, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Fish and Chips, Mexican, Middle Eastern Kebabs, Chinese, Indian?”

“I mix it up”, he said.

“Exactly! You don’t always want a hamburger”, I said.

“All those examples are choices of convenience foods.”

“All the coaches in the real estate industry that you mentioned are choices.”

“Principals and agents don’t always want hamburgers.”

There is plenty of room for everyone.

He is based in New Zealand.

All those coaches can’t serve everyone and everyone doesn’t want the same thing.

I encouraged him to go for what he truly wants and to let go of the things he is telling himself that are stopping him from getting what he wants.

The same goes for you.

Listen to the silly excuses you are telling yourself that are stopping you from going for what you want.

Remember, we don’t always want a hamburger.

People want choice.

Put yourself out there and give them the choice.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Strengths-Based Selection (WT711)

Strengths-Based Selection (WT711)


WT 711 Strengths-Based Selection

This week we’re back on the topic of recruitment.

It seems that recruitment and retention is the biggest challenge for businesses at the moment so I thought I would share a couple of tips with you.

  1. REACH profiling
  2. Skills assessment

I use the REACH profiling system because it is a comprehensive ecosystem.

Not only does it provide a number of different reports such as Personal, Communication and Leadership, we can also generate an Interview Companion.

The Interview Companion is gold. It is based on “strengths-based selection”.

In other words, we want to hire people in roles that are suited to their strengths.

We know that interview is the least reliable form of recruitment because applicants tell us what they think we want to hear.

The Interview Companion helps us to clarify the strengths we want for each role, which makes it very easy to see if the candidates’ strengths match the role.

The second tip is to assess the skills either before, during or after the interview.

If touch typing is important for the role, you can test this at https://10fastfingers.com.

If spelling, grammar and formatting skills are important, you can test that too.

Perhaps you need someone who can get their way around Excel. Ask them to complete a couple of tasks in Excel. You’ll soon see how well they can use it, as well as how they interpret instructions.

It’s okay to assess the candidate’s skills, if it’s important to you that they come with skills.

Some companies are happy to train and they need to test for attitude and aptitude. One way to test attitude is to invite the candidate to come to work with you for a few hours or a day.  They get paid, it’s not for free, however it gives you an opportunity to see whether they have initiative.

It allows you to see how they communicate with and relate to team members and customers.

Determining the assessments and criteria can be quite easy if you have taken the time to be clear on what you want from the role and have worked out the K.E.S.A.Q. required for the role.

  1. Knowledge
  2. Experience
  3. Skills
  4. Attitude
  5. Qualifications

And the third and final tip is “don’t be desperate”.  When you’re desperate, you’ll most likely hire the wrong person and then end up having to do it all over again within a few months.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Answer The Criteria (WT703) 

Answer The Criteria (WT703) 


WT 703 Address the criterior

A while ago I was talking with a client about recruitment. We’ll call him Dave. 

Dave had a need to fill a customer service/administration role in his business. 

I suggested looking for a mum. 

In the past, I’d had great success employing mums who dropped the kids at school, came to work, did an amazing job and then finished in time to pick up the kids. 

The mums benefitted by being able look after their kids and still have some social interaction with adults, make a difference and get paid. 

They were honest, reliable, had a great work ethic and were skilled and experienced. 

As I shared my experience, Dave asked if I would help him recruit for the position. 

Initially, I was a little shocked at his request, however I agreed. 

We advertised. 

The selection criteria included a typing speed of 40 words per minute, 95% accuracy. 

Only one of the applicants addressed the criteria in their application.  

We know that interview is the least reliable form of recruitment so we included a few activities to test typing speed and accuracy, spelling, grammar and mathematical skills. 

We held off some of the interviews because one lady was away at the time we planned to conduct the interviews and her resume indicated that she was a good match for the role so we waited a few weeks. 

I confirmed the night before the interview. 

The next morning, (the day of the interview) she sent an SMS saying that she was no longer available for the position. 

I have to say, this has been an interesting journey. 

The world has changed. 

Forty odd years ago when I applied for my first full-time job, I would have done anything the potential employer asked me.  

I would have made sure that I addressed all the selection criteria. 

I would have made myself available to attend the interview at their convenience, and would have considered myself very lucky, if I made it to an interview. 

For me, not addressing the selection criteria tells me you can’t follow instructions. I might be wrong but remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. 

Answer the criteria. 

So what’s this got to do with you? 

If you’ve got good staff, hang on to them. 

If you’re applying for a position, if you answer the criteria, you’ll go to the top of the list.  

Recruitment and staff management have changed over the last few years, especially since Covid. More and more people are assessing what they want to do for work and how they want to live their lives. 

As employers, we need to accept the changes and adapt so that our businesses can thrive with less people and better systems, including much more automation. 

I’m curious to hear your experience? What’s happening in your industry? 

Have you got certain criteria that you need applicants to meet or can you adjust to accommodate the changes? 

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts

P.P.S.  BRAND NEW 10 Week online Leadership Fundamentals experience starts Tuesday 15th January 2024. Sessions are LIVE and led by myself. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t find 90 minutes a week to improve yourself and your leadership skills.  You don’t have to be in a formal leadership position at work. These skills are life skills.  If you’re interested, reply and let me know and we’ll organise a time to chat. Be part of another great team and get the results you want. 

The Awe of Expertise (WT701)

The Awe of Expertise (WT701)


WT 701 In awe of expertise

When I first started my business, I was blown away by the knowledge and expertise that people have in their respective industries.

Seventeen years later, I’m still in awe of your expertise.

I was coaching with a client and he was sharing the challenges he was experiencing with designing and fitting out a new retail shop.

He had engaged a builder and an engineer and was thankful for their expertise and advice.

The builder advised that new supports were required to hold up the roof. He encouraged the retailer, by explaining that it was “now or never” because he thought the retailer would be very unlikely to add the supports once the shop had been fitted out.

Of course this added additional time and expense to the project, however it could have been a lot worse had the builder not shared his expertise.

Another example comes from a landscape gardener. The home owner wanted to bring the garden back to life. The gardener surveyed the surrounds and asked whether the home had been painted a particular colour in years gone by.

“Yes, it was. How do you know that?” asked the home owner.

“See this part of the garden, where the soil has been compacted down, we can see the old paint, which would have been covered by the soil”, answered the gardener.

Fascinating! Simply fascinating.

And here’s a curly example. Talking to an employee in the marine industry, she shared that when scheduling boats to be serviced, they had to be aware of the relationships between the boat owners and not schedule services for boats where the owners did not like each other. Yes, that’s a thing.

This week, I want you to think about all the intellectual property you have. Become aware of how much you know and how your expertise is so helpful to those of us who don’t have it.

This is the reason for business. Businesses provide the solutions for things we know nothing or very little about.

According to Benjamin J. Harvey of Authentic Education, businesses exist to eliminate thoughts and feelings for their customers. For example, “The garden is overgrown. It’s full of weeds. It will take me months to get it back in order. I don’t have the time. I don’t know what to plant. I’m embarrassed that it looks like this.” 

You get the idea.  By providing the solution to fix the garden, the gardener eliminated all the negative thoughts and feelings for the home owner.

How about you?  What thoughts and feelings are you eliminating?

For me, as a leadership coach, my interest, passion and expertise is in helping leaders and managers to eliminate feelings of stress and overwhelm and lack of confidence when it comes to leading and managing their teams.

I am constantly amazed at what people know. How about you?

Think of any service you need and think about the level of expertise the supplier has, from your accountant to your cleaner to your grocery shop or pharmacist.

This is one of the things I love about working with such diverse businesses and people. I get to learn a little about what they know and do and I’m so impressed with the level of expertise people have in their chosen field or industry.

What do you know that people outside your industry don’t know?

Be proud of that.

Be grateful for what you know.

The world needs you.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

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