Posts by Loreen Sherman

BEST SELLING AUTHOR, DIRECTOR, CEO, SENIOR MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT Loreen Sherman brings 30 years plus of entrepreneurism and business acumen to provide intelligent decision support. Attaining faculty certification and teaching management concepts and organizational behavior to both national and international students, Loreen shares strategic management ideas and plans of action with Board, CEO’s, Executives and Management on succession planning. Sherman’s hand-on approach led her to build, mentor and manage a clientele in the oilpatch. She offers to support today’s business challenges with direct management consulting. This shaves layers off each client’s investment and increases communication with a single point of contact between organizations. This personalized approach increases confidentiality on sensitive matters thus ensuring a higher level of interaction with each client. Sherman has worked in all functional levels and understands the complex nature of decision making, strategic planning and the need for sustainable growth and solutions. Every day management is faced with new challenges, change is adamant and staying competitive is essential. Sherman’s newest research involves the search for a better way to quantify the return on investment. She serves as Chair for the Canadian Heavy Oil Association, External and Government Relations committee. She is active in the community and holds memberships in many organizations including: Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Gas Processing Association Canada, Petroleum Joint Venture Association, Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Canadian Well Logging Society. Sherman is a certified mentor for Futurepreneur Canada. She adheres to the Canadian Association of Management Consultants. Management Consulting Services – Human Resources – Executive Coaching – Management and Leadership Performance – Succession Planning. Sherman has spearheaded multiple industry-first products from conception to launch. She founded three businesses from sole proprietorship to federal incorporation. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree alongside a degree in Geography and Earth Sciences. Invite Loreen Sherman for your next business function or corporate event. Her most requested presentations include: 1) What Risk Do You Take Without a Succession Plan? 2) The Entrepreneurial Mindset 3) New Geological Evidence Sherman says, “Leading is a planned action, planning outcomes.” Let her help you with planning yours. Call 403.289.2292 for a free 10 minute consultation today.

Leadership and Truth Found in a Comma


I just lost thousands of dollars because of a punctuation mark. A comma, of course.

Yes, a simple comma cost me much in a legal case.

The Little Stuff Counts

The Story of a Comma

Excited to move my business practice ahead, a contract was on my desk to sign. The agreement to hire and gain more sales was attractive. I was thinking this was a legitimate proposal and was not thinking that it might be a scam.

I looked over the contract and read the expectations that the service would be rendered without any hitches. I was eager to move the business forward. The contract was simple, just a couple of pages, and did not seem to need any more proof reading.

Flash Forward

Now, three months later, I am listening to the voice of the court clerk asking me to read the name of the business that had not kept its agreement and had been over paid for services not rendered.

  • I read the name.
  • Again, I read the business name.
  • A little confused, I read the business name once more.
  • The court clerk, asked me again to read the name of the business.
  • Again, I read the name.
  • What was I missing?
  • The court clerk then asked me if I could see the comma?

I looked carefully at the corporate register’s search document and saw that a small comma in the business name was visible.

What Did That Comma Mean?

A Stupid, Stupid Comma

The comma was a part of the business legal name and when the comma was left out of the Affidavit of Service it would cause the case I was filing nullified. A little item like a comma could play a significant part in the outcome of the complaint I had. A little object, like a comma could cost me thousands of dollars.

Few businesses use a comma in their name and surprised I  learned the comma was a ‘red flag’ to the court clerk. For me, it was not something I had expected. This made me realize that lies are often subtle and rarely expected.

A small comma is like a small lie. It can seem insignificant but have multiple impacts. The comma could have stopped the legal process. The comma could have prevented justice. The comma could have …blah, blah, blah…

A Comma in a Business Name

The legal name of the parties involved in a contract is a very important consideration. A small oversight such as a comma in the legal business name can nullify a court proceeding. To make sure that the document is correctly written, a corporate profile search undertaken at a registry office.

This double-checks that the legal name matches the contractual agreement. If a civil court case ensues this documentation is helpful. Some companies know a case loses because of this small oversight, so do the research before going to court.

How Prepared are You When Signing Contracts?

Your Ethical Journey

Business leadership is an ethical journey but sometimes unethical people lay snares that entangle and cause serious disruptions in the day-to-day operations. Therefore, contracts are an important source of truth and writing one carefully can save future misunderstandings, reduce operational headaches and risk.

All written contracts should make sure that both parties are evenly and fairly represented. The contract is a binding document that is easily to interpret and to follow.

Leadership and Truth in a Legal Agreement

Legal clauses are crucial in interpretation from what the contract states to meaning from the words written. The contract states and clarifies short and long-term commitments. The legal clause are found in change in control agreements, publishing agreements, speaking contracts, etc.

Legal clauses are disclaimers, non-disclosure statements and business-marketing strategy agreements.

Understanding detailed legal statements requires expertise beyond the scope of this blog; however the point that legal jargon is relevant and important for leaders is critical.

Truth in a legal contract is a trust that extends to both parties of the agreement. The buyer and the seller in a contract want to gain from the relationship. Neither expects the other to defraud. However, fraud results as the outcome of side-stepped truth.

So, just like the comma is a ‘red flag’ to keep in mind to prevent possible snares documentation is also important.

Solidify Your Business Contract

Documentation is the single biggest reason projects succeed. To write successful contracts include statements that are meaningful and understandable.

The following sentence will show a good deliverable.

Target decision makers called without allowing no downtime in the campaign.

The following sentence will show a better way to write a good deliverable.

Target decision makers have a website that is under performing with a page rank of 0-3; and furthermore allowing no downtime in the campaign hours between 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM on weekdays.”

Good Leadership Documents Outcomes

The best way to decide if the contractual agreement works is to document outcomes.

Create a spreadsheet to track the obligations of the buyer and the seller; such as, the date, name and deliverable in the contract on the spreadsheet.  Documentation of calls, emails, personal and business meetings recorded give evidence.

In the following contract, three key questions see whether excessive downtime caused problems in the campaign.

“Target decision makers have a website that is under performing with a page rank of 0-3; and furthermore allowing no downtime in the campaign hours between 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM on weekdays.”

  • Were the decision makers called?
  • Did the campaign run on the expected hours?
  • If a website was under performing did they get help?

This documentation of outcomes reduces anxiety and measures expectations realistically.

Truth is justified when seen with evidence. For example, get the evidence that your website is not under performing with critical web analytics today. Gain confidence knowing your management and leadership performance with executive video assessments. Documented outcomes are how leaders can solidify their businesses.


Q: So then, what documented outcomes do you value?

A: Please post your comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Loreen Sherman

Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc | Executive Coach | Sr. Mgmt. Consultant
She serves clients with a 3-D Analytic Assessments and Succession Planning
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Corporate | Booking | ☎ 

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How to Be a Rock Solid Leader

Rock Solid Leader

The en masse exodus of Baby Boomers alarms some in the business community as retirement encroaches. Varying reasons exist for the multiple reactions to retirement. The energized and ready can’t wait to quit the daily pace of dutiful work obligations in exchange for a more relaxed pace. Others are uncertain, wary and intimidated about this forthcoming season in their lives. 

The question arises, how do you stay a rock solid leader after retirement?

Leadership Validation Is a Core Process

Before a leader can navigate his retirement, an important and often overlooked step is the leadership validation process. This is the process of confirming that a job was well done. Meaningfulness becomes increasingly important as one becomes more experienced.

A rock solid leader who validates the claims of leadership manifested in the working years gains more assurance and is emotionally ready for the exit.

For many, this validation is unnerving:

  • How do they know if they were meaningful?
  • How do they know the caliber of their followers?
  • Or, what is the caliber of their potential successor?

The validation for leaders of core competencies is critical in all phases of the business and personal life cycle and increasingly important near retirement. This translates into core validation being essential from the first interview to the exit interview.

At my firm, we have found that we can confirm core competencies better with 3-D assessments and our clients gain a competitive advantage. This approach provides a much more realistic understanding of the leaders and how best to go ahead.

Leadership Validation

Essential for Rock Solid Leadership

Executive coaching, leadership assessments and evaluations and performance reviews are often the tools used by consultants to help investigate and test the leader’s hard and soft skills. The typical pen and paper approach has brought in results; but limited insights.

A better approach is the 3-D assessment that utilizes video as the main medium.

How to Be a Rock Solid Leader

Under pen and paper, the list of questions is often answered individually. Each response comes from how the leader sees themself. This self-evaluation is a good tool but limited. The way others view a person is critical. First impressions are important. Therefore, undergoing a comprehensive assessment is a better approach.

What variables validate core leadership competencies?

Peer evaluations have often been used to check the team or the leader. The problem is that they are often subjective and not good evaluations. So, the first key in gaining a tier-one evaluation is to make sure that the person diagnosing the skills is not a part of the team or related to the company. An outsider’s objectivity provides a level of analysis that cannot be attained by co-workers.

So this begs the question:

What leadership skills should you get assessed?

Leadership Potential

New and Underdeveloped

The skills gaps in the rise of new leadership is an increasingly challenge for many companies. The new enthusiast wants to lead well, but often lacks the knowledge that comes with hands-on experience. Thus, two categories of skills exist and assessed in a comprehensive leadership skills assessment to confirm core competencies.

Technical Gaps:

  • Computer
  • Engineering
  • Mechanical
  • Electronics
  • Math
  • Computer Programming

Interpersonal Skills:

Certain aspects of leadership depend on qualities – often subtly displayed – that others perceive someone to have. Leadership awareness of soft skills can be difficult to assess, so an effective way requires an in-depth probing and understanding to check core competencies.

This type of “deep-dive” assessment observations and resultant data explain feedback with a higher level of accuracy.

  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Active Listening
  • Sales Techniques

In fact, many qualities are visible with 3-D analytics; thus increasing the effectiveness of each assessment. Now, you can know if you are a rock solid leader.

A Twist in the Leadership Validation Process

Many companies have focused on leadership development and training for the newbie. However, this is only a partial solution. 3-D analytics work for senior management too.

Good companies know the value of their human capital; the experiences of a mature leader adds wisdom to the organization.

Increasingly, the en masse exodus of senior management has upper management more aware of the knowledge loss with retiring senior management. The challenge is to capture and assimilate the knowledge of these retiring seniors. Their successes are what make a leader rock solid.

Rock Solid Leader Plans

The cycle of a leader begins with initiation into authority and continues until retirement. Throughout the business cycle a good leader should confirm his or her core competencies to strengthen weaknesses and strengths. A

potential leader is usually provided training and guidance to increase his skills. An experienced leader, yes, a rock solid leader guides others to maturity. Thus, the question becomes for a company how to keep the knowledge of a rock solid leader?

Succession Planning

Continuity of leadership is a challenge. This is one reason succession planning is fruitful. Succession planning helps find new leaders and explores ways to capture the knowledge of the predecessors.

  • How well is your company positioned to transition its rock solid leaders?
  • Has your company started its 5-year succession plan, yet?
  • What steps are missing to getting your plan on paper and into action?

I share effective succession planning to help prepare executives, leaders and management with programs for custom exit strategies that validate core competencies.

Q: So then, what is the best way to find a rock solid leader?

A: Please post your comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Loreen Sherman

Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc | Executive Coach | Sr. Mgmt. Consultant
She serves clients with a 3-D Analytic Assessments and Succession Planning
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Corporate | Booking | ☎ 

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Improving Leadership Skills in the Midst of a Climate System

Superstorm Sandy

Weather is an interesting thing. It impacts everyone’s  life each and every day. Most of us get our share of sunny days and rainy days and even some stormy days. And then there are times when it’s either humid or arid outside.

And oh, hurricanes, tsunamis, snow storms, and tornadoes show up too.

When taken in total, the accumulated sum of our weather patterns and atmospheric conditions make up we call our climate. And climate affects people and what they do.

Storms a’ Brewin’

Internal interactions of climate are points of discussion among thought leaders, scientists, and critically alert investigators because of the impacts seen in major weather shifts.

Recently, Hurricane Sandy swept away Jersey Shore and much of the U.S.A. Northeast coast causing $85 billion in damages.

Some leaders reacted to the crisis immediately and took charge of the multiple areas of need. Others waited.

Compare and Contrast

Each response came from how they evaluated the situation. Immediate action to rescue those caught unprepared was the response of some. Others were visionaries to find supportive avenues that would be required for the devastation and aftermath.

In the first case the leaders jumped into immediate action.

These were the doers.

In the second case the leaders considered the future implications of what to do next.

These were the thinkers.

Leadership has multiple responses. In the first case, the doers used their acquired skills to help those in need from the tumult of Hurricane Sandy because they had been sufficiently trained.

Their confidence and ability allowed them to reach out and take immediate action. Many feel the ability to react is the only part for leadership.

However, as revealed in the second case, visionary leadership evaluated future impacts.

>>> So this begs the questionHow does one improve their leadership skills in the midst of a climate system?

Leading the Future

Hurricane Sandy will have Future Impacts

New questions arise for the leadership along the East Coast and for those who lost much.

Getting serious questions:

  • How to rebuild?
  • What is worth the investments?
  • How to help so many?
  • How long will the difficulties encountered last?
  • What resources are available?
  • Where to go?
  • Will this get better?

Getting serious answers:

To answer this, leadership skills need improvement in the midst of climate systems. So, what does that mean? First,

  • Identify today’s problem, tomorrows and five years from now.
  • Express what the most significant people concerns, such as what is the safest…
  • Outline available resources, potential resources and future resources …

Leading Right Now

Every day smaller problems are successfully solved. For example, a student attending first day of class notes that the laptop is difficult to carry on the bus ride home.

This problem is not going to last in the future so the workarounds are not drastic.

Going to a store to look at other carrying bags seems like a good resolution. This future leader has identified and responded to his needs assessment. In the same way, a needs assessment is necessary to account for the future of those hit by Hurricane Sandy.

To see with certainty a good leader will prepare for the worst case scenario.

Finding Solutions – It Takes a Plan

If you want to know if you are really able to make good decisions in a devastating situation ask yourself a few questions like these:

  • How well did you handle the little hiccups like the student carrying his laptop?
  • Have you a plan of action; what about the future?
  • What steps are missing to getting your plan on paper and into action?

I share effective tools to help prepare for crisis in my management programs to support leaders who want proactive in their strategic plans.

Q: So then, what is the best use of the $85 billion estimated for the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy?

A: Please post your comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Loreen Sherman
Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc | Speaker and OD & Leadership Specialist
She serves clients with Strategic Advice to Executives
Email | LinkedIn | TwitterWeb | Corporate | Booking | ☎ 877.896.7292

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On Leadership, Planning, and Action

Leadership Planning

Many leaders wake up in the morning and jump straight into action. They are ready to take charge, ready for success, and ready for results. They often “feel” just about ready for anything!

But often, the only thing they are ready for is mediocrity.

The Fallacy of Ready

Unfortunately for many leaders, from newbies to the seasoned ones, “being ready” is just a feeling they have inside of them and doesn’t really match the challenges they are going to face on any given day.

Because they FEEL ready, they mistaking think that they ARE ready.

Actually BEING ready means that:

  • You fully understand you vision
  • You know the steps to take on your mission
  • You know what resources you need to use and balance to reach your planned goals

Believe me, BEING ready is the only true way to authentically FEELING ready.

Anything else is just a feel-good fantasy that leads to unfinished work, lost opportunities, and mediocre results.

Leading Change – It Takes a Plan

If you want to know if you are really ready to lead people to reach your goals, rather than feeling ready, ask yourself a few questions like these:

  • Are you ready to solidify your business leadership?
  • How developed is your leadership action guide?
  • What steps are missing to getting your plan on paper and into action?

Here are some very effective tools that I use to help you answer these questions with Conflict Scenarios and Leadership Elements 

Motivating Change

There are 3 important leadership elements to motivate change:

  • Differentiation
  • Vision
  • Preparation

Each of these leadership elements is part of the leaders action guide. Learn how these elements can create a culture of growth.

3 Leadership Challenges for Change

1) Knowing When to Be Different

The ability to balance ‘when to stand out and when to differentiate’ or to ‘blend in as a strong team supporter’ is a leadership challenge.

The key to team leadership is co-operation and collaboration.

If you collaborate as a team player then accolades from the executive management will follow.

But what if you see something that is not working?

Does this make collaboration difficult?

Not in some organizational settings where different perspectives are encouraged. However, often this is not the case and an opposing dialogue and a different perspective creates conflict.

Conflict is unavoidable when clashes of perception arise if not dealt with in a proper way.

Leadership Scenario

For example, high performance teams recognize how important safety is.

Perhaps a driller forgot to remove handles and the bottom of a vessel is leaking. This is clearly a matter of safety but what happens when the report is a near miss instead of a hazard?

Certainly, the differences of perspective cause concern for the team leader.

The dilemma rises in the ability to foresee consequences and forecast the grade of severity of the problem. A team leader desires to end conflict but sometimes other matters are more serious. The question becomes should the leader speak out, report the concern or not.

Change demands scrutiny.

2) How to See with Certainty

The problem is that even with the safest equipment and the best evaluations other environmental factors are significant influences. A minor incident such as in the above example of a driller forgetting to remove handles could lead into a catastrophic accident under the right circumstances.

To see with certainty a team leader must prepare for the worst case scenario.

No “crystal ball” is 100% correct; however certain determinations can reduce risk which in turns increases a favorable outcome.

  • For example, to wear proper safety equipment, in industrial operations reduces the risk of injury.
  • Executive leadership plans higher safety by eliminating potential pitfalls.
  • Examine ‘near misses’ for ways to intervene and prevent serious damage from occurring.
  • Follow-up and evaluation reduces harmful exposure to potential danger; a Safety Awareness Program helps increase safety in the workplace.

3) How to Prepare

Preparation is the single biggest reason leaders succeed.

My mantra is this:

“Leading is a Planned Action.”

To succeed one must prepare. Safety equipment checked, minor incidents reported and near misses examined.

There are millions of ways for businesses to fail. Leaders aware that they are not omnipresent or omnipotent but restricted by their limitations can feel powerless.

Restricted by the vast power in the environment and surrounding events and circumstances that they cannot control can cause uncertainty.

Q: So then, should leaders give up?

A: No.

Instead, recognize limitations to increase the opportunities for success.

Planning Leadership Success

Congratulations! You have just taken your first step planning your leadership. Now you have 3 leadership elements to help you face your leadership challenges.

Certain conditions need a leader to stand and differentiate yourself.

Vision comes from a careful evaluation of as many factors as possible. The best way to prepare is to plan your action steps. The dividends that this investment in leadership development will pay off for decades!

So where is your leadership action plan? What are the steps you need to take to successfully arrive at your planned destination? What is missing in your toolkit to insure success? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc., Speaker, and OD & Leadership Specialist
She serves clients with Custom Publishing and Modular Skills Packages
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Booking | 877.896.7292

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