New blog

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just started a new blog,

The reason?

I plan to make it sort of a central site for all that I am doing around the web.

There are posts in that will not be posted here.

If the search engines favor this move, I might start posting most, if not all, on that site.

The title of the blog is, “Live Your Adventure: Insights & Insinuations by Ed Pilapil Jr.”

Check it out.


The high value employee

April 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Coach, may we discuss about the high value employee?”

“Sure George,” I said.  “Why do you want to discuss this?”

“I want to compare notes with you.”

“What in particular do you wish to discuss?”

“How can you tell if the one you are hiring will be a high value employee?” he said.

“There is really no way of telling,” I replied.  “You have to test them out.”

“How long?”

“There is no simple answer,” I said.

“Is it because some take longer to develop?” he asked.

“Yes, therefore, the question is on you,” I said.  “Do you mind working with someone who takes time to learn?”

“If he becomes a superstar, I do not mind,” he said.  “But then, I cannot tell.”

“Best is to make a definition or description of the high value employee,” I said.

“I know what you’ll say,” he asked.  “I have to define it.”

“Yes you should,” I replied, “but it has also been partially defined for us by others.”

“What do you mean others?” he asked.

“Others mean what is commonly known as  minimum expectation.”

“Oh you mean like character and competence,” he mentioned.


“You’re the business coach,” he said.  “What is your perspective?”

“There are several qualities that I look for,” I said.  “First is the 3 Cs.”

“3 Cs?”

“Character, competence and concern,” I said.

“That sounds logical,” he said. “By concern, you mean concern for the company?”


“What else?” George asked.

“Self-managing,” I said.  “They should work well without me.”

“Sounds good,” he said.  “I heard that the best test for your people is to see how they work in your absence.”

“The statement has a point,” I said. “But it works both ways.”

“That is also the leader’s test.”

“Yes it is,” George affirmed.  “If the leader chose the right people, and if the people were trained well…”

“Any which way, the leader must correct it,” I said.  “Either the leader changes his approach or change his employee.”

“Aside from self-managing,” George asked, “what else makes a high value employee?”

“Self-learning, self correcting, aligned, passionate,  a good team player,” I said.  “Organizing skills, respectful…”

“That’s a lot.”

“That is why it is called high value,” I replied.  “Low values are found everywhere, high value players are rare.”

“Let us discuss this further next week,” he said.

“Sure,” I replied as I hung up the phone.

Love Communications

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Hi Coach.”

“Hello George,” I replied.  “It has been two weeks.”

“Yes Coach,” he said.  “We were out of town last week.”

“Client visit?”

“Potential projects,” he said.  “I was in Thailand then Singapore.”

“I hope it pushes through.”

“Thanks,” he said.  “Do pray for us.”

“I will,” I replied. “How is the team?”

“In our last session, I mentioned that the atmosphere in the office is more positive,” he said.  “Thanks to the Strategic Monday and Celebration Friday.”

“Any areas that can be improved?” I asked.

“Of course, most of my team members are new so there is definitely lots of room for improvement,” he said.

“Mention one.”

“Their communications skills can still be improved,” he said.

“How can you help them improve on that?”

“I gave them assignments related to written communications,” he said.  “And asked one of them to invest in a business communications book or ebook.”

“You mean those with sample letters like request letter, complain letter, proposals and memos?”

“Yes that’s the one,” he replied.  “I remembered that that was how I learned to write business letters when I was starting out.”

“That is great George,” I said.  “Showing them how to learn communication is good.  But there is something that you should emphasize.”

“What is that?”

“Show them the value of communication,” I said.  “Excellent communication skills opens opportunities for the person and for the company.”

“The value of communication,” he repeated.

“Make them value it as if they would value their treasure,” I said.

“I see,” he said.  “It is bringing it to the level of values and attitude.”

“Right,” I said.  “But I have a question for you.”


“Do you value communications?”

“I think I am good at it,” he said.  “I do very well in speeches and I write very good proposals.”

“I was not asking if you were good at it,” I said.  “I know you’re good at it.  My questions was, do you value it?”

“It never crossed my mind,” he said.

“Perhaps it also never crossed your heart.”

He had a look that was shouting inside, what do you mean?

“You are good at communication because you were trained to do it,” I said.  “Now learn to love it and be passionate about it.”

“I get it,” he said.  “To value communication, I must love it or enjoy it.”

“You nailed it,” I said.  “Learn to value it then share that attitude with your team.”

“Got it.”

“Lead them to learn good communication,” I said.  “But also lead them to love it.”

“That is quite a challenge,” he said.

“I know,” I replied.  “Whoever said that leading was easy?”

He smiled as he got up. “Thanks for the session coach.”

“See you next week.”

Strategic Monday, Celebration Friday

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

“How’s the team, George?”

“Hi Coach,” he said.  “I tried doing the activities you mentioned last week.”

“Strategic Monday? Celebration Friday?” I asked to confirm.

“Yes, both.”

“How was it?”

“They were not too comfortable at first when we did the strategic Monday,” George said.

“In what way?”

“Strategic Monday is to critique what we have been doing,” he said, “and to make sure that all we do is aligned to our strategic direction.”

“Yes, that is right.”

“Not everyone was ready to speak out,” he said “perhaps they were not ready to give feedback or they are not ready to receive feedback.”

“What did you do then?” I asked.

“As we discussed earlier,” he said, “I pointed out where I realized my misalignment was.”

“Good, you started to critique yourself,” I mentioned, “before you critiqued others.”

“That is all I did last Monday.”

“That is a good start,” I said.  “You modeled it.  I am sure that they will follow.”

“Celebration Friday is a different story.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Everyone was so happy to share what they accomplished for the week,” he said.  “They were enthusiastic.”

“Good to hear that.”

“Jake shared the positive feedback from his client,” he began. “Andrew told us about a lesson he learned from our competitor.  James closed his first deal.  Maria explored new opportunities.”

“So the atmosphere was positive?”

“Oh yeah! It was,” he said.  “We were clapping our hands after every statement.”

“Continue both Strategic Monday and Celebration Friday.”

“Yes Coach, I will,” he said. “But will it be embarrassing if we critique one-another on Strategic Monday?”

“Critique the team as a whole, not individuals,” I explained.  “Do the individual corrections on your one-on-one coaching.”

“What is the best schedule for that?” he asked.

“Monday, after the team meeting,” I said, “or, Wed, in the middle of the week.”

“Okay,” he said, “I’ll try the Wed.”

“All your comments must be constructive either to affirm or correct,” I reminded.

“Yes Coach,” he said. “I will use the sandwich.”


“At first I will appreciate what positive things they’ve done,” he said, “and then I will give my comments on where they should improve, and to end on a positive note, I affirm my belief in their capabilities.”

“That’s great,” I said, “where did you learn that?”

“Coach, I also read books and attend seminars,” he said, “so I know a thing or two.”

“I did not mean to offend.”

“None taken,” he said, “I was just mentioning.”

“Good,” I said. “I was just asking.”

“Strategic Monday will work,” I said, “just keep doing it.”

“The atmosphere in the office is more positive now,” he said.  “I hope it translates to the bottom line goals.”

“It will,” I assured. “But it needs patience.”

“I agree,” he said. “Thanks for the session coach.”

“I’ll see you next week.”

Team Traditions

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Hi Coach,” George welcomed me as I sat down.

“Hi George,” I replied.  “Nice resto.”

“My friend owns it,” he said.  “Roy started it last year.”

“It’s full,” I said.  “It must be doing well.”

“Yes it is.”

“He must have a great team,” I said.

“I think so,” he said.  “Speaking of team, what do you think I should do next?”

“Let’s see,” I tried retrieving my mental notes, “You have one-on-one time with them, you know what motivates each, and you put in place both team and individual incentive plans.”


“Invite your core group to this resto or any other good resto,” I said.

“I am already doing that.”

“Good,” I replied.  “Are you doing it regularly?”


“So when do you do it?” I asked.

“When it seems appropriate, I guess.”

“That is where you can make a little improvement.”

“What do you mean, coach?”

“Though it is good to have spontaneous moments when you invite your core group out, it is advisable to have a little tradition,” I explained.

“You mean like something regular?” George asked.

“Why not?”

“We can try it,” he said.  “What other little traditions do you practice, coach?”

“Well, every Monday morning is Strategic Monday,” I said. “We all step back and look at what we are doing from a big picture perspective.”

“I see.”

“Then we begin questioning what we do?” I said.  “We make sure that the details of last week and what we will do this week will be aligned to our overall goals.”

“Sounds good,” he said.  “So you critique your actions.”


“Sensitive people beware,” George smiled.

“Do you have a sensitive member in the team?”


“Then introduce this to them slowly,” I warned.

“Yes, I know,” he said.  “I can begin by asking them to critique me.”

“Good,” I exclaimed. “Model it first.”

“What other traditions, coach?”

“We have celebration every end of the week.”

“You mean you party every week?” he asked.

“No,” I said.  “We have a stand up meeting.  Each one narrates what he believes should be celebrated for that week.”

“You have a meeting standing up?”


“Why? George asked.

“Oh, that is to keep me from using too much time,” I said.  “Sometimes, I keep speaking.”

George chuckled.  “Just like me.  Don’t know when to quit.”

“Yeah! That’s us.”

“Give me an example,” he said. “What do they say during celebration moment?”

“Okay,” I said. “Someone mentioned that they sent 20 proposals that week.  Another said that he closed one deal.  And another mentioned what she learned from a mistake.  Another achieved clarity.”

“That sounds fun,” George replied.

“It works both ways,” I said. “If you have nothing to celebrate for the week, you will feel out of place.”

“Aha!” he exclaimed.  “That tradition motivates them to work well otherwise, it will be shameful if you have nothing to celebrate.”

“But it feels satisfying to share your accomplishments for the week.”

“I think I’ll adapt that,” George said.

“Hey George,” I called his attention to the menu.  “Aren’t we forgetting something?”

“Oh sorry Coach,” he beckoned to the waiter.  “Please get his order.”

Motivate Your Team

February 15, 2011 § 3 Comments

“Welcome back George.”

“Hi Coach,” he said. “I had a one-on-one coaching session with each member of my core group.”


“I learned much about them,” he said.  “I discovered that each are motivated in different ways.”

“Good discovery,” I said.  “So do you think Maslow’s Hierarchy  is applicable for everyone.”

“Not at the same time,” he said. “Each one is different and at different levels.”

“Since each one is motivated differently,” I said, “will you have a different way of motivating each one?”

“Should I give them separate incentives?” he asked.

“You can do both.”


“Give a general incentive for the team,” I said, “yet motivate each one by giving them what they aspire for.”

“Of course,” he interrupted, “it should also be aligned to my company’s aspirations.”

“Well it should be,” I assured him.

“I will implement the incentives that I announced at the start of the year,” George said, “but I would have to zero in on what each actually want.”

“Give me an example of what you’ve discovered,” I requested.

“Jake, the guy you coached before joining my team seems to be motivated by exposure,” he said. “He loves speaking in front of the crowds.”

“That’s Jake alright.”

“He prepares well and delivers his lessons well,” he said. “He does not need any motivation.”

“Yes and no, George,” I replied. “Yes he is self-motivated but you have to tell him if he is doing a good job.  Let him know the areas that need improvement.  Do not let him guess.”

“It seems you know him more than I do,” George smiled.

“Hey, I was his coach.”

“Then there’s Andrew.” He paused.  “He is so desperate to win the top salesperson of the year.”

“Are you giving cash prices?”

“Yes but not much. Incentive include a two night stay in a local beach,” George replied.  “He does not have to win to experience it because he can easily afford it.”

“Your price is just a symbol,” I said.  “He is after the prestige of being top sales guy.”

“Ana loves engaging people,” he said. “I cannot put her behind a desk for a whole day.  She has to meet people.”

“Then Maria who is hard to figure out.”


“She does not know what she wants,” he answered.

“Oh,” I reacted. “That person needs help.”

“Because she does not know what she wants, I do not know how to motivate her,” he said.

“How is her work ethic?”

“Sometimes she works really hard,” he said. “But then, sometimes she does not especially when she is frustrated.”

“Help her find the reason why she is working,” I said.

“Yes, I intend to.”

“Or else, she will find it hard to belong,” I said.

“Then there’s James whose head is not in the game.” His face could not hide his disappointment.

“What do you mean?”

“He forgets stuff and makes a lot of excuses,” he said.

“I assume that he does not excel.”

“Of course not.”

“What motivates him?” I tried to bring George back to the main topic.

“He likes games, Anime, and other kids stuff.”

“He is still young?” I asked.

“Yes, fresh out of college.”

“Give him time if you can afford it,” I said, “or help him find his other skills and passion that is aligned to your company’s purpose.  He may have untapped potential.”

“Yes, I need to work on him.”

“I agree that you can motivate your team as individuals and as a collective group,” I said. “Give individual and corporate rewards.”

“Thanks Coach.  I feel validated.”

“See you next week, George.”

Draw Your Ideas

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Hi George.”  I welcomed him as he sat on the coach. “How’s the Leadership Journal?”

“It was fun,” George replied.  “I couldn’t get to write anything at first.  I was staring at a blank page with nothing on my mind.  But when I began, it just flowed. I couldn’t stop.  My wife had to call me three times when dinner time came.”

“That is good to hear,” I said.  “You really got into it.”

“Yes,” he said.  “I have been writing everyday since.”

“What did you discover?”

“I wrote the obstacles that my company was facing,” he said. “Then I wrote the solutions that we were applying, but suddenly I kept writing other possible solutions.  It just came to me that there were better options to some of the problems.”

“Have you tried drawing the solutions?”

“No,” George said.  “Is that better?”

“It depends on you, but give it a try,” I said.  “For some, drawing mind maps help unleash their creativity.”

“Was that your experience?” he asked.

“The drawing gives me a visual representation of the idea,” I said. “It also helps me expand the details.  I think some of the best ideas that I got were from drawing maps.”

“I should practice that more often,” he said.

“Why not draw a map for every member of your team,” I said. “Aside from just giving them tasks, show them how the specific tasks fits in the whole plan.”

“Another use I am seeing is to draw the career path of each one of them,” he said.

“I assume that you will involve them in the process.”

“Yes, they should be,” he said.  “It will strengthen ownership.”

“It also strengthens respect,” I replied.


“They will respect you more for involving them,” I said, “or just hearing them out.”

“I agree,” he said.  “After all it is their career.”

“Try to draw how their career path and your company’s interest intersect,” I said.

“That makes sense,” George said.  “It would be advantageous to show the alignment of an employee’s career growth and the company’s growth.”

“Map how your company will grow in the next 2 years,” I suggested.

“I already have a plan in place,” he replied.

“Draw it,” I said, “but do not hesitate to draw branches.”

“You mean the different ways that I can execute each branch?” he said.

“You might generate better strategies and options when you draw your plan.”

“Okay,” George said. “I’ll do that.”

“That will be you assignment.”

“See you next week, Coach.”

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