Big grandboy Wes telling baby brother William about Santa!

May your holidays be filled with the gifts of family, friends and  great joy!


Best always,  Martha and Thad

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As leaders we all face people and business challenges that require mental toughness.  So what does that mean, understanding that it’s all in the eye of the beholder, right?

A recent article about this subject by Amy Morin suggested mentally tough people have 13 traits that define them. Here are our top 7 attributes of mentally strong people that lead others:

1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves – in other words they don’t possess a powerless, victim mentality;

2. They don’t give away their power – they recognize they have control over their emotional response to others, like their bosses;

3. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control – like how others choose to use their time or react to decisions they don’t like, but focus on things within their control;

4. They don’t worry about pleasing people – which is a big one for many people, that is to “just say no” when it’s appropriate;

5. They don’t resent other people’s success – instead they celebrate the successes of others;

6. They don’t feel the world owes them anything – entitlement is not in their vocabulary.

7. They don’t shy away from change – but embrace positive change and have confidence in their abilities to adapt.

Do you see a trend in this list of 7? We refer to it as being “self responsible”.  We all have choices of how we respond to life’s lessons and as a leader, having the strength of character and mental toughness to do the right things are important to our long term success and happiness.

Martha Forlines and Thad Green





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Happy Thanksgiving…

May you and your family enjoy great joy this week!

                               Join us for an evening with Glenn Carver sponsored by the Health Forward Alliance                                           at theEpiCenter – Home of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame to speak about                                                                                                Overcoming Adversity.                                                                            

 Wednesday, December 4th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

245 Peachtree Center, NE Suite 275 Atlanta 30303


Best to your success,
Martha Forlines and Thad Green
P.S.  Go to to create your own gratitude map.
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An executive story.

He goes to the doctor. Cancer. Two years and he’s gone.

His wife vows never to go to the doctor again—“I’ll hear something I don’t won’t to hear.”

She gets sick. No doctor.

Gets worse. No doctor.

A slow and painful death. No doctor.

Many executives take this same position—“I don’t want to know if something is wrong with me and how I lead others.”

Some survive. Some don’t.

They choose misery over prosperity.

You’re an adult. Nobody can tell you what to do.

Nixing coaching…as a potential pathway to success and happiness.

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

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In a 2012 follow up to a 2005 research study, “leadership development remained the #1 reason for hiring a coach.”

However, in 2012, “executive presence makes a surprising debut as the #2 reason for coaching.” This is not an unexpected finding for those of us doing executive coaching.

Interestingly, the study points out that this “up-and-coming executive specialty” is as yet undefined.

Time will put some definition around it, but in the meantime most of us have a feel for what it means. In you work culture is it substance, personal style, physical presence, presentation skills, etiquette, substance, listening skills, confidence?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about what executive presence means to you.

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

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The “how to” for any leadership skill will not work without dealing with the things that get in the way!

 So what gets in the way?

For most every leadership skill, the “how to” is a short list of simple and easy-to-use steps that have a notable track record of success.

But the “how to” doesn’t work unless it’s used.

The things that get in the way are subtle and invisible. Here are some examples.

If you want to resolve a conflict, you have to confront it—using a simple step-by-step process. But fear gets in the way—“He’ll explode if I bring it up.” Or “She’ll cry if I confront her.” Or “He’ll see that I’m nervous and unsure of myself.”

Holding people accountable is as easy as 1-2-3, but one step in the “how to” is having consequences. And fear of delivering on the consequences gets in the way—“They won’t like me.” Or “I’ll be an outsider. Or “They’ll get me fired.”

For every “how to” there are silent fears—getting in the way.

And it’s easy to give in to them.

But when we do, our fears rule the way we lead.

The starting point is self awareness.

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

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Wires Crossed compliments of WSJ

He bought his wife a beautiful orange scarf (his favorite color), but orange definitely was not her color.

The leader measured her success in pay raises, so that’s how she rewarded her best performer, only he was desperate for meaningful work.

He was always saying, “Give it to me straight, don’t soften it, no B.S., just short and sweet.” So, that’s the way he communicated with others, but most of his team (and peers) saw him as impersonal, harsh, and blunt.

Giving what we like can cause big problems.

We can’t (and shouldn’t) always give what people want, but when it comes to communication and leadership, it usually pays off.

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

P.S. We specialize in teaching leaders how to communicate, manage, and lead to the individual—finding out what people want and how to give it to them—with our executive coaching, leadership training, and leadership consulting.

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Introverts are different from extroverts!

It’s easy to turn them on and ratchet up their performance.

First, introverts are thinkers. This means they are problem solvers; they have good and well developed ideas. But they don’t tend to come forward and share. So, ask introverts for their ideas (but not in meetings—see below).

Second, introverts are observers. They tend to notice more than other employees. So, ask introverts what they are seeing.

Third, introverts are planners. So, call on introverts to create plans, or to review plans before implementing them.

Forth, introverts need time for themselves. Being with others saps their energy; getting away from the crowd energizes them. So, allow introverts time alone.

Fifth, introverts clam up in meetings. They will not compete for time to talk, will not try to persuade, instead preferring to remain quiet and observe. So, communicate one-on-one with introverts.

You’ll get quick results with these easy-to-use tips!

Martha Forlines and Thad Green

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Happy workers perform better! Or do they?

Doesn’t it all depend?

There is the employee who is an independent, goal-oriented, hard-working self-starter who finds happiness at work when given challenging assignments, left alone to accomplish them, and rewarded based on results.

Then there is the employee who is more laid-back, easy-going, fun-loving, conflict-avoiding who is happiest when goals are modest, poor performance is tolerated, and everybody is rewarded the same.

Should leaders really strive for happiness in the workplace?  First and foremost as a leader, you are accountable for results.  Happiness at the cost of no results will not keep you gainfully employed!

But, what about the connection of employee motivation and happiness…your role as a leader is to lead in a way so you understand what motivates each of your team members.  Once you know that, then the next challenge is to create an environment to maintain employee motivation and engagement at the individual and group level.

Does this sound complicated?  It’s really not.  Meet one-on-one with each of your direct reports.  Get them to share what motivates and what does not motivate them.  Most of them want you to know what gives them drive and energy and what depletes their drive and energy! These discussions build trust, open up communications and enable you to maintain an environment of improved motivation and happiness.

You decide – is motivation and happiness for your team members important to get the results you need?

Martha Forlines and Thad Green


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Leaders who strive for perfection deny top performance.

Here’s why.

The leader sets unrealistic expectations for others, so they fail.

When they fail the manager heaps criticism onto them.

The leader is sensitive to the need for perfection, and insensitive to those who are not perfect.

This kind of leadership results in a miserable work environment.

Employee self-confidence is in a freefall.

The work environment is miserable,

Job satisfaction does not exist.

Motivation and morale plunge.

The result is that top performance is denied.

Putting perfection aside has value!


Martha Forlines and Thad Green



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