Top Ten Ways to Start and Maintain a Good Year

The best way to have a good year is by living life on a daily basis, letting the good days accumulate, one by one. And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to resolve to have a good year. Start anytime. Today, for instance.

  1. Take time, slow down. Be present in your life and mindful of the present.
  2. Care for your body, eat well, exercise, treat yourself to loving, nurturing self-care.
  3. Spend quality time with family and friends. Communicate, keep in touch. Say I love you. Tell people you appreciate them.
  4. Take time throughout the day to renew yourself. Take a walk, read a poem or a good book, listen to music (really listen); bring beauty into your life. On a monthly basis, take a whole day for yourself — play, treat yourself to something you want to do; retreat from your daily life. Mark these special days on your calendar (in ink) so you’ll be certain to take them.
  5. Clean up what needs to be cleaned up. Make amends, fix what’s broken, clear away clutter, forgive what needs to be forgiven and let go.
  6. Commit to a project you really want to do or to learning something new or attaining something you want. Commitment is the first step. Then set achievable goals and work toward them on a daily basis.
  7. Give yourself to a cause, volunteer at a nonprofit organization, a community group, your church or lend a hand to an individual or family who could use your help.
  8. Practice your spirituality in whatever form you express it, on a daily basis.
  9. Laugh every day.
  10. Take time to dream.

It is tempting to make grand New Year’s resolutions, but as we all know, many of these fall by the wayside too quickly leading to disappointment. The key to maintaining promises you make to yourself is to take one step at a time. When you create achievable goals, they are easier to reach and each success builds momentum to spur you on. So don’t berate yourself if you fall at the first hurdle; gather your thoughts, take a deep breath and start again. You will soon realize you have made great progress and are living life to the fullest.

Share your favorite tip with us on Twitter and be sure to tag @marshallbcoach.

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New Beginnings – A Partnership with TMC

It is with great pleasure that I fill you blog readers in on the latest goings-on in my world, an exciting strategic partnership with Transition Management Consulting, Inc. (TMC). My team as well as myself will be traveling across the country to support TMC with trainings, executive talent recruitment, organizational assessments and so much more!

How do I feel about all this? Well, I am delighted to partner with TMC and to expand the services offered by Marshall Brown & Associates, LLC. This partnership expands our reach into the association and nonprofit communities. Simply put, it is a win-win for all of us and our clients. And we’re fortunate that TMC is happy to have us as part of their team. TMC president Jackie Eder-Van Hook, PhD said, “I have long admired Marshall Brown for his relationship building skills, clarity of purpose, and tenacity in getting to the core of any situation. TMC is honored to have Marshall join our talented network of consultants.”



TMC serves as a trusted advisor to associations and nonprofits. The organization provides high quality transition services to address executive leadership successions throughout the country and we’re very excited for this strategic partnership and what it means for us all.

Thanks so much for staying up to date on our behind-the-scenes action! If you’d like more (and there’s always just a bit more), feel free to sign up to receive our newsletter or connect with us on social media. We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and would love to connect with you there.


Can You Really “Have it All”?

Recently, I sent out a newsletter to my subscribers that detailed how to establish that elusive balance between your work and your personal life. It was met with a positive response but you’re still wondering if you really can “have it all” in this time of economic uncertainty within most industries.

Well, I hear you asking and so I’m answering! The truth is this: Yes, you can have it all but you might not be able to have it all, all at the same time.



Undoubtedly, you’re aware that it takes sacrifice to get to the top of your game, whether that be personally or professionally. When you’re creating a family, your career might need to be put on hold and, as you nurture your career, you may find yourself with less time to invest in your personal life. This is the inevitable balance of progress in our world. There is give and there is take and you have to accept the ebbs and flows in order to move forward with grace and focus.


Now, not being able to have it all, all at the same time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being aware that not every aspect of your life will flourish simultaneously is actually quite liberating.

With the knowledge that you will need to maintain balance in order to keep your work and personal lives alive even when needing to more heavily invest in one or the other, you will make better choices with both your time and resources. You’ll be aware of your tendency to let one side or the other slip and can stay on top of your basic needs to keep yourself balanced enough to remain grounded and successful in all areas.

If you missed the newsletter on achieving and maintaining that delicate balance, you can view it in my news section now but be sure to sign up to receive future emails so you don’t miss the next one!


How to Use the Law of Attraction in Your Career

You may already know that I had the honor of being interviewed by for an article on using the Law of Attraction in your job search. I happen to love using the Law of Attraction in many areas of my life but I find it especially useful when working with my executive and leadership coaching clients in their respective careers. From climbing the corporate ladder to complete changes in direction, the tools in the Law of Attraction aid progression and promotion incredibly. Here are a few ways to use to the Law of Attraction in your career to get clear, get focused, and get ahead! by Pong by Pong

1. Decide What it is You Want. It’s an unfortunate truth that many people get stuck serving the same organization unhappily for most, if not all, of their careers. Imagine the nightmare of working somewhere you don’t love, doing a job that doesn’t satisfy you, until retirement. Investing the time to examine yourself, your skills, and your priorities will help you to decide exactly what it is that you want from your career.

2. Renew Your Level of Commitment. Once you’re clear on what you want, fully commit to that cause. Every action you take in your career should be a step in the direction of your goals, whatever they may be. Stay focused and dedicated to your dreams and you’ll get there.

3. Know that Something Better is Coming. Part of the Law of Attraction is having faith that your proactive choices and everyday commitment to your goals will bring about the changes you want to see. Sometimes it may seem that the process is taking too long or that you’ll never reach your “final” destination. Know that it’s coming and that you’re learning valuable lessons along the way; lessons that will serve you greatly when you finally get wherever it is that you’re going.

4. Focus on Your Goals. Use some quiet time every day to imagine your life when you’ve achieved your dreams. Picture yourself behind your executive desk in your big corner office or soaking up the sun during a well-deserved vacation once that bonus check clears. Using your mind, each and every day, to envision the life you’re preparing yourself to live will foster the development of that new reality for you.

These are just a few actionable tools you can implement today to use the Law of Attraction in your career. I have a variety of career coaching tools available on my website, but if you feel as though you could use some personalized support to create your own game plan for success, contact me today for a complimentary consultation!

Have you used the Law of Attraction to achieve your goals? Leave a comment here or head on over to our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or tweet @marshallbcoach and share your experience!



Virtual Access to the National Career Summit



Did you miss the 2013 National Career Summit? It was packed with information, knowledge, and wisdom from 30 experts in business, communication, and networking! While the live event has passed, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that there is still time to subscribe to the National Career Summit and when you do, you’ll get access to the Virtual Summit!

This is particularly exciting for those who struggle to travel and couldn’t take time away to attend a conference this year. The Virtual Summit access includes recorded lectures from the professionals, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who spoke in November and offers exceptional information on:

* How to handle challenging interview questions.

* Create a jaw-dropping, attention-grabbing, job-securing resume.

* Branding yourself and your business.

* Using social media to land a great job, or create one for yourself.

and so much more!

For a limited time, you can gain lifetime access to 32 audio recordings from the National Career Summit at an 80% discount. With the Gold level membership, you’ll receive:

1) Immediate downloads of 32 audios from our Job and Career Summit Experts on multiple topics: resume writing, interview skills, networking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, negotiating, and so much more!
2) A Print Copy of “101 Great Ways to Compete in Today’s Job Market”

3) “Break all the Rules and Get that Dream Job!” E-book – by Liz Ryan
4) “Five Critical Mistakes You Are Making in Your Career” E-book – by Felicia Gopaul
5) “101 Great Ways to Skyrocket Your Career” E-book – Created by Michelle Riklan in conjunction with members of Career Director’s International
6) “101 Job-Seeking Tips for Recent College Grads!” E-book – by Michelle Riklan
7) “MORE on the Art of Cultivating Professional References” audio program from Wendy L. Yost
8) The Success Principles Downloadable Workbook from Jack Canfield
9) “How to Survive and Thrive During Our Economic Crisis” E-book – by the Community
10) “7 Steps to the Job You Want” from Hero School
11) “7 Secrets to Financial Freedom” audio program created by Savannah Ross, aka Rich Mom
12) “Success Tweets” E-book – by Bud Bilanich
13) “From Impossible To Possible Is A Quest” Audio Program with Paul Lawrence Vann
14) “Mastering the Job Interview” E-book – by Career Coach Sean Cook

To get all the details and enjoy the benefits of the National Career Summit today, visit the website here!





Secrets from Great Networkers

We all know that to succeed in business, one must have (and use) a network. We work hard to create a web of like-minded individuals that support us, defend us, and are there when we need a favor. Likewise, as we create and nurture these relationships, we need to be prepared to offer the same in return. Unfortunately, making contacts and turning business cards into a dependable rolodex of steadfast colleagues is easier said than done. For those that may struggle, here are some secrets from great networkers.

Leave the office. That’s right, out with you! You’ll never make lasting, meaningful connections with people if you stay behind your desk all day, every day, so get out! Whether you are most suited for conferences, luncheons, or charitable events (or all three), sign up, show up, and make a great first impression.

Look for kindred spirits. Many introverted individuals struggle with networking because it’s often thought of as moving through a room collecting as many business cards as possible. This is often unhealthy and unproductive for a more quiet, shy person so reframe your thinking about networking. Instead of having a goal of obtaining a fistful of new contacts, look for just one or two kindred spirits. Focus and connect with those people who “get” you and your work and you’ll look forward to maintaining that rapport for years to come.

Remember quality trumps quantity. It’s perfectly acceptable to be picky about your own personal and professional network. You may not be able to choose your family but you most definitely can hand-pick the people you want to be supported by and support in return. While you may be able to work a room and speak with many individuals who are eager to connect with you more later; take a moment to think about who they are, what they have to offer, and how you could work together in the future. If you’re struggling to come up with answers, it’s not a quality connection and will not serve you well.

Do not be afraid. Put yourself and your business out there! Be a bit vulnerable, honest, and forthright with who you are, what you do, and where you’re going in the future. Those who reject you wouldn’t have helped you anyway, even if you had made an initial contact. You will never be sorry for authenticity.

With a bit of reframing, courage, and positivity, creating a grand network isn’t quite as daunting as it once seemed. Despite so much of business becoming virtual, it appears as though the socialization that precedes creating a slew of supporters will remain a necessity for professionals indefinitely. The power of the network is here to stay.

Tell me, what’s your best networking secret? Visit our Facebook page and join in on the conversation as we share how to get and keep a great network!


Job and Career Advice from 30 Leading Experts







Please join me and 29 other leading job and career experts for the National Career Summit, a virtual training event that can be accessed from your computer or phone…beginning Monday, November 4th.

You’ll receive expert Job and Career Advice – All for FREE!

For your FREE ticket, please click here.

You’ll learn step by step how to compete from over 30 Leading Job & Career Experts For FREE!

During this event, we’ll show you:

  • How you can ensure your résumé lands on the top of the pile.
  • How you can effectively handle challenging interviews and win the job.
  • How to find the hidden jobs that aren’t listed on the job boards.
  • How you can brand yourself and recession-proof your career.
  • How you can develop skills that will rapidly improve your marketability.
  • How you can land a job using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Plus a whole lot more…

To register today for your FREE ticket, please click here.

We are looking forward to helping you compete in Today’s Job Market.


Developing the Next Set of Leaders for Your Organization

Many baby boomers will retire in the next five or ten years, and yet; most organizations don’t even have a solid plan for developing their next leaders.

When asked, current senior leaders said they learned mostly from experience, especially when they were just starting out. Others said their previous bosses and training programs helped as well.

And yet, despite knowing this, leaders currently in position don’t take the time to find and develop their successors. In most cases, it’s an organizational trend: the current boss learned on-the-job, they rarely received help from current or retired leaders of the organization, and so they don’t feel responsible to do the same for the person next in line.

Why is this important?

If the next leaders of your organization won’t be able to sustain or improve upon what is left to their charge, then what use are your plans, budgets, and strategies for the coming years?

The expectations for future leaders are also higher compared to what it was before. It’s no longer enough to have extensive experience on a specific department because diversity and a broader knowledge of an organization’s operations are now essential for a leader to be successful.

It’s also not enough to choose a leader based on performanceas many organizations have proven thatsuperstar employees aren’t always superstar leaders.

Take a Minute to Answer these Questions

  • What am I doing to find a worthy successor for my position?
  • Am I providing enough time and mentoring for the organization’s next set of leaders?
  • Do we have enough candidates to fill leadership positions that may open up in the future? Remember, not everyone with the potential to lead can actually rise up to the challenge.
  • Do we have a step-by-step method for selecting and preparing employees for leadership positions?

Don’t just pick someone and then hang him or her out to dry; make sure your organizations next set of leaders will be prepared to continue the legacy.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Take responsibility for developing the next set of leaders for your organization. It’s not enough to say that you support the cause. Spend time with potential leaders, so you can assess their potential and answer questions they may have about the company and the position’s responsibility.
  • Work with other leaders in the organization to define the competencies, experience and behaviors that a new leader would need to do the work required of him. You should also review the current market and competitors to get a better understanding of what it would take the next leader to succeed, once he takes over the role.If you skip this step, you run the risk of hiring the same type of leaders repeatedly, which means the company will likely be stagnant- if not left behind by competitors who have evolved to meet the demands of the market.
  • Assign people to do different tasks. Potential leaders must be exposed to different jobs in the company, because this is the only way they will learn how the business works from different points of view.

Don’t forget about the people issues! After selecting potential leaders, mentoring them, and exposing them to other parts of the organization, the next step is to train them to handle the human side of the business.

Leaders don’t deal on numbers alone; they also face issues – tons of employee issues! Teach them how to help struggling employees, how to provide feedback, how to inspire others, and more importantly, how to instill accountability. Without this skill, they won’t be half as effective as they could be.

Share how you prepare your employees for leadership positions  #prepareleaders or on our Facebook page.


Interested in a proven leadership development program for your staff or your members?

“Take the Leadership Challenge” focuses on the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, developed by authors and researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. In a highly interactive, experience-based approach, your staff, your members and you learn an:

  • Understanding of your own leadership style
  • An appreciation of other leadership styles
  • An increase in credibility and courage as a leader
  • More capability and willingness to provide leadership for their organization
  • Essential skills to improve and achieve better results for their own staff
  • An ongoing action plan and a commitment to do things differently

The goal of the program is to provide participants with the necessary skills and tools to master the essential areas of leadership and to become a truly effective leader. The target audience for the program is those individuals that are already involved with leading a team or are just beginning the process in their organization.

Some of my clients have also offered it to their membership as part of their professional development and leadership programing. It can be an additional source of revenue!

I am confident that this will be of value to you and your association. Contact me to discuss questions, next steps, pricing etc.


Communicate with More Authority without Becoming an Authoritarian


Just last week, one of my clients asked his employee to revise a proposal that will be sent to a client. Annoyed, the guy said “What for? I thought I was the lead on this account.”

Does this conversation sound familiar?

Assert Your Authority

Most leaders believe in the power of brainstorming and teamwork, but the problem is, some employees tend to mistake their open-mindedness for weakness. Just because you’re polite and open to suggestions, doesn’t mean that everything you say may be questioned!

As a leader, you must hone your business communication skills so people working with you will know how to differentiate between a directive and a request.

Does it mean making every deadline non-negotiable? Should you stop taking suggestions from your team?


Here’s a Better Idea: Change the Way You Communicate

Be careful with your choice of words and tone of voice. Consider the following:


“It would be great if you could submit your work by lunch tomorrow.”


“I’ll expect your work tomorrow on or before lunch.”

Work requests:

“Please edit your report for Client A, make it more compelling.”


“Your report for Client A isn’t convincing enough, can you please revise it?”

Both statements mean practically the same thing, but the second statements can be interpreted as a suggestion, while the first one is a clear order.

As for your tone of voice, make sure that your voice is loud and clear when you’re talking. This isn’t the time to be shy, so just man up, and look them in the eye when you’re talking.

What if my support staff is stubborn?

Use this simple rebuttal formula. Let’s go back to the second example:

You: “Please edit your report for Client A, make it more compelling.”

Employee A: “Why? It took me 3 days to complete that report, Employee B says it’s great.”

This is a typical excuse. Employee complains, saying that it already took forever to complete the work then segues to add the opinion of someone else to back up his claim.

You: I understand that it takes a lot of time to create a report1, but it needs to be revised2 because it doesn’t have substantial proof to back up the results you’re claiming3

Let’s dissect this simple formula:

  1. Empathize – Show that you understand how they feel by repeating what they said.
  2. Reiterate your request – “it needs to be revised”
  3. Give a specific reason – the reason should be specific, objective, and reasonable. Don’t just say “because I want you to revise it.”

Using imperatives doesn’t equate to rudeness though, so make sure you add “please” or “kindly” when possibleThe same applies when you’re using the rebuttal formula above. If anyone in your staff continues to argue after you’ve provided a reasonable objection, then it’s time to remind him of your position. This is your last resort; don’t use this argument often because doing so will appear as if you’re abusing your power.

Your business communication skills will affect your relationship with your team and image as a leader. Does your voice have a certain air of authority? Do you sound like you know what you’re doing? If you do, then you’ll have no problems getting people to do what you asked.

What parts of the formula do you already use and what parts might you implement this week? Leave a comment on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or tweet@marshallbcoach #commauthority.


Develop Yourself and Your Team

In today’s business environment leaders need to focus on their staff’s individual needs and on the direction of their organization.

If your organization is like most, you are operating in a storm of constant demands, reacting to crises but not really taking time out to think about (or plan) how to make your company better in a big way.

There REALLY ARE a lot of things you can do to move your organization to world-class status. One of the most important steps is to focus on the people who make up the organization. You need to have top-notch people working hard to make it a success, but you also need to make sure that those people have the TOOLS, UNDERSTANDING, and CAPABILITIES that are needed to excel.

Imagine having staff that:

  • Build strong interpersonal relationships.
  • Communicate clearly and openly with other staff.
  • Willingly work together and eagerly serve on formal and informal teams.
  • Leverage and support the skills of others.
  • Are excited about their work and spread positive energy to members and other staff.
  • Have clear career goals and take advantage of every opportunity to go above and beyond.
  • Know their strengths and weaknesses and actively find ways to capitalize on what they do best.
  • Can lead or follow depending on the situation and their assigned role.

I invite you to take a few moments now to consider which of the following customized programs you and your organization can use to get on the road to world-class status:

You can’t afford to have an underperforming staff. Organizations that invest in staff development are much more likely to be successful!

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Client Raves About Our Programs

“Without a doubt, having Marshall Brown work with our staff was a turning point in our being able to better communicate and work as a team. I would highly recommend Marshall as a consultant in any number of situations involving team building, communication strategy, and professional coaching. 

Marshall’s expertise, along with an outstanding presentation style, allows participants to feel comfortable, gain knowledge, and improve in their jobs.”

~ Richard Yep, CAE 
Executive Director and CEO 
American Counseling Association

“In a word, Marshall is fantastic! He just finished a team building 2 day training for my staff – was very, very productive. Absolutely helped us achieve our goals. He works on an ongoing basis with one of my senior team – very effectively.” 

~ Julie Coons 
President and Chief Executive Officer, 
Electronic Retailing Association




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