Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category


September 6th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

This summer, I completed The Big Miss by former Tiger Woods golf coach, Hank Haney.  Like many, I was curious about the Tiger Woods’ ‘story’ from his coach’s perspective.  When I read the book, though, I was fascinated by the challenges that Hank Haney faced in his years coaching Tiger Woods.  I found some of the challenges to be very similar to the journey I am on as an executive coach implementing Lean in Health Care.

I thought the author (and coach) did a good job detailing some of the approaches he used to get Tiger Woods, clearly the best and most polarizing figure in golf, to improve.  Here are 4 takeaways for me from the book to improve your coaching ability:

1) Help coachees see where they need to improve – Tiger Woods is the BEST golfer in the world.  How do you improve on that?  But, the fact is, we all need to get better because the competition is trying to close the gap.  If you are not getting better, than you are falling behind.

2) Help coachees develop a routine (standard work) – For Tiger, Hank Haney instilled the idea of “Nine Shots”.  This was a practice routine that gave Tiger a leg up on competition.

3) Help coachees develop a discipline of reflection – Self-reflection is an important discipline.  In coaching we must get those we coach to ask themselves “What is going well?” and “What could go better?”

4) Know when to listen – Often, the most valuable time in coaching is just listening.  Often, your coachee will systematically talk their way through a situation based on the previous 3 coaching techniques.  When this occurs, the student improves exponentially.

As a coach, you may not get the chance to coach the #1 golfer in the world one day, but you can have an impact on others.  Employ these 4 techniques and your impact will be greater.

The story of the complexities involved with being a part of Tiger Woods was a big part of the book sales.  The techniques that the coach employed are valuable tips from which you can learn

Have you had the chance to read the book?  What are your thoughts?

5 tips for being”In the zone” as Leaders

March 24th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

As a basketball player, there is no better individual feeling than being “in the zone”.  Shooting the ball into the hoop is no longer a challenge. Getting open is easy, the defense seems to moves slower than normal, and most importantly, there is an extremely high level of focus and confidence that is a part of being in the zone.

My question is, as leaders, can we be “in the zone”?  I believe we can.  Here are 5 tips for putting yourself “in the zone” as a leader: (more…)

Book Review – Decision Points

January 15th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed Decision Points.  What a fantastic read. 

Whether or not you were a George Bush supporter (which I was), I believe this book will be on best-seller lists for a long time.  I didn’t necessarily always agree with the decisions that President Bush made, but after reading the book I now have a better appreciation of the process he used to make important decisions.  Each chapter is based upon a major decision or series of decisions the president had to make.

His process was clear and consistent.  There were 3 distinct processes he used in making these decisions:

1) He studied history – He read many books of past decision makers

2) He seeked insight from subject matter experts and/or his inner circle – Whether it was a family member, a relationship he had build in his life, or his staff, he asked others for their input

3) He prayed –   He prayed for wisdom, strength, and courage in making tough decisions.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “After the nightmare of September 11, America went seven and a half years without another successful terrorist attack on our soil.  If I had to summarize my most meaningful accomplishments as president in one sentence, that would be it.”
  • I had forgotten a horrible quote Senator Harry Reid made in April 2007 when he declared, “The war is lost, the surge is not accomplishing anything.” The majority leader of the Senate had used his platform to tell 145,000 of our troops they were fighting a lost cause.  Great motivation , Harry, and one of the reasons his legacy will be ‘lost’ in American history for me.
  • When President Bush first got what he felt was his reassuring call he should run for president during a sermon .  His mother was with him  prior to church and told him, “get over it (his struggle with the decision).  Make up your mind, and move on.” I just love the direct encouragement of mothers!!  And, after the sermon when God calls Moses to action, his mother leans over to him and whispers, “he is talking to you.”  For me, those are moments where I get chills!

The book was 481 pages in length.  My ‘dogear measurement’ probably doesn’t work for biographies and autobiographies.  I did find in his book an interesting ‘challenge’ he had with Karl Rove on who read the most.  Rather than only measure books read, they competed in pages and lateral area.  So, I will track this during the year.  Total lateral area for the book = 481 pages x 31.5 sq in per page = 15,151.5 sq in read!  You will enjoy every sq inch of this book.  I am sure if you read it, you will have a new found appreciation for the decisions a President must make.

Has anyone else read the book?  Let me know what you think. What other biography work do you suggest for good reading? 

2010 – That was not easy – but easier…

December 31st, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Don’t you wish we had one of these buttons for ‘life’?  Hard to believe that 2010 has come and gone.  In the Gallagher household, it was another year of growth for us as a family.  Somewhere I heard that the 3 most stressful things in life to do are: 1) get married, 2) start a new job, and 3) move. 

Well, thanks to my very understanding and beautiful wife, Chris, I won’t have to complete number 1 any time in the near future, but we did go through 2 and 3 this year, aside from all the other fun stuff!!

In April, I started a new chapter in my career with Simpler, Inc as a Senior Consultant.  I have found this new opportunity to be challenging and rewarding.  Then, in June, we sold our home to a nice family and moved down the street into a home that we had been building for nearly 2 years.  The real estate market, to say the least, has posed MANY challenges  over the past few years, not just 2010.

To say that it was an EASY year would be a lie.  However, I know that it was EASIER as a result of having my own written Life Plan to provide a filter for some of the decisions that I needed to make in 2010.  Many tough choices were made in our family this year.  Choices that have us all looking forward into 2011.  There are too many people to list that I need to thank for pouring into our lives this year. 

Thanks for reading my posts this past year.  It is my wish that they add value to your life. 

So, was your 2010 easy?  Let me know how it went by commenting below!!

Book review – Mentor Like Jesus

April 8th, 2010 by Gallagher John No Comments

As a result of commenting on a blog post at, I was given the book titled: Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell.  I must say that I really enjoyed this book.  In this book, the author defines a process he developed on his own to called “next-generation mentoring mentor a few men (8) in a year long process.  The author defines a great mentor as “one who can listen, ask good questions, bring others into the conversation, and tell a relevant story to make a point.”  He uses Jesus as the model mentor.

He defined 11 elements of next-generation mentoring: 1) On purpose, 2) Selfless, 3) in a group, 4) handpicked 5) for  defined period of time, 6) Scripture, 7) Prayer, (8) Modeled, 9) Taught along the way, 10) Mutual commitment, 11) Required multiplication.

The elements that touched me the most included:

Handpicked – Generally, a mentee, chooses a mentor, but in this program, the mentor choose the mentees HE wants to mentor…Just like Jesus picked his 12!

Defined period of time – Too often, I think mentoring, once started, goes on for an undefined period.  In this program, there is a specific end date

Required mutual commitment – The sessions are scheduled out a year in advance and there are no ‘excused’ absences or tardies.  His math is simple.  If there are 9 men in the group (1 mentor and 8 mentees) and you are 5 minutes late for a meeting, you aren’t just wasting 5 minutes, you are wasting 45 minutes of time!

Several quotes hit me as well:

  • More time with fewer people equals greater kingdom impact
  • “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • A good mentor is like a good tennis coach:  I hit the balls over the net(issue or opportunity), and he simply changes he angle of the return(with great questions).

The book gets a ‘6’ on the dogear scale that I use; however, most of the books that I review have 220-250 pages.  This book only has 152 pages, so the effectiveness of the book is much higher than it’s ‘6’ rating.  I will be passing a copy along to a friend and would suggest it to you.  I want to thank Michael Hyatt for the opportunity to read this book.

So, what are you waiting on?  When are YOU going to start a mentoring group?  Actually, the book has a great list of questions to let you know WHEN you are ready to start and WHO to mentor!  I have the date set on my calendar for when I will start my mentoring group.  I want to work to prepare myself for it.