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How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 12, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Every one of us knows the importance of being attentive with colleagues, clients, and family members. We must be attentive if we must learn new ideas, listening is also a sign of politeness. However, it can be so difficult to keep quiet, we want to make our opinions known, and we seem to have the answer.

You can learn to be a better listener by talking and paying attention. Listening could come in the form of showing interest such as ‘explain your idea more, any other suggestion or what makes you think in that manner?

Whenever you exhibit interest while talking, you will not only gain new knowledge. Also, you will seen as a highly esteemed as a cooperative leader at your place of work.

I recommend you consider reading How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie – or listening to the audiobook How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age (Unabridged)

Could you use an expert in your corner? Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. [email protected]

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 22, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

As a dad to three children, each has chosen to earn their Master Degrees (Social Work-LSW, Entrepreneurship-MBA, and Mechanical Engineering-MS), they are happy and fully independent, with two weddings within years’ time. Yes, my wife and I are a blessed, but it’s not luck, it was very predictable.

As an executive coach, I’ve been asked to be a parenting instructor on many occasions. I get asked ‘what’s our biggest blunder as a parent?’ To put it more clearly, as a parent what can I improve to be a great parent?



The challenge starts with us the parents because we don’t set high expectations for our kids and neither do we set one for ourselves. Therefore, as parents, we are not disciplined in our parenting responsibilities. For instance, when discussing how our kids relate with each other, they might call themselves terrible names, hitting each other and generally treating each other in an unkind manner and we do nothing to correct it, maybe because we think that’s they can’t become bettered manner or simply because we see it as a very challenging task to even correct this bad behavior.

So, the problem is that we set our expectations too low, so how then can we make our expectations high?

Well, that involve two parts, to begin with, you must have a vision of the way you will parent your kids, and this is what I referred to as parenting with a purpose. For instance, I could have a vision of raising kids that cares about the feelings and needs of other people. The other part involves having well-stated guidelines of how you want your kids to behave in a given situation. For instance, if we are going to visit our Grand Ma and Grand Pa we could tell our child, “when we get to grandparent’s place, ask her about her trip, inquire about her health, inform her about your school project and inquire from her if there is any game she would love to play with you, and when she is preparing dinner, ask her ask if there is something you can do to assist” most times, we tell people what they are not supposed to do rather than what they should.

It’s very important that we set good examples for our kids. Kids develop their attitude and lifestyle from our behavioral pattern, and how we react to situations, for instance, they can learn how to control themselves and how to cope with situations by observing the way we deal with situations when we are under pressure. If people upset us, do we rant at others or do we imbibe good strategies that help us to put our frustration in check?

Can you relate with this? Set high standards and be exemplary to your kids. It appears that the keys to excellent parenting and amazing leadership intertwined. Written goals will help in this endeavor. Yes, your children should have written goals in a marble notebook or loose leaf that is updated each semester in school, if not more often. My youngest son had write on – wipe off board with his goals written down in his childhood bedroom.

There is still one thing which is common for good leaders and parents, and that is they both look for experts for professional support. Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. [email protected]


Posted by Cliff Locks On July 18, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized


The term retirement is something that really frightens many executives, will I have sufficient money when I’m retired? What will be my daily activities after I retired? This blog will make retirement a little less frightening experience. Retirement is a great beginning and not a miserable end.

You maybe asking yourself are people still going to retire? I think the word retirement has gone through a lot of transformations and needs to be redefined. In times past, retirement was all about picking that expensive gold watch and going on vacation and then relaxing in your backyard when you retuned from your vacation.  Well a lot has changed, and we are no longer inclined towards that direction. Our society has become multi-tasking and highly energized and people have no wish to slow down. Though they still go on retirement, but retirement now has a whole new meaning.

So, what are people supposed to do? For individuals that are above the age of 50 like me, what are we supposed to do to get prepared for retirement?

Well to start with, you need to revisit all your dreams and wishes and every other thing you promised yourself but have not been able to be accomplished, its time you picked them up and say “now I can make all these a reality” then you carefully analyze them to see what is realistically achievable and those that are not so feasible. Maybe your dream was to buy and RV and see America’s National Parks, is that still achievable? Or you need to just make few changes and to make it achievable and then you commence preparing for it.

Well many of us are not prepared to start thinking about it yet; however, we have retired parents, so how can we be of assistance to them at this stage of their lives? My Dad is 90 years old and my Mom is in her late 80’s. It’s about family looking after them, in my case, I have four siblings and we are all involved in a gentle and supportive manner. My folks are still residing in the home I grew up in and enjoying life. Yes, they’ve slowed down somewhat; as their 11 grandchildren get married they attend all the weddings.

You may know I’m industry Supply Chain expert with a concentration in Reverse Logistics. Well my Mom is defiantly driving volume of product returns. She loves shopping at Costco, Walmart, and Amazon, she must be returning 60%+ of her purchases. I have a hypothesis that product returns are more prevalent in our senior population. As the Baby Boomers retire, yes there are 65.2 million of us. The Reverse Logistics industry should be seeing a huge up tick in business.

Let’s get back to your needs. Well, you must start by analyzing your present mental and financial state, to be sure your prepared. Don’t do it alone, if you need someone to talk to reach out to me. Remember it’s a new starting point, for the very first time in your life; you’ll be presented a wonderful opportunity for change in your life, you can go wherever you wish, do anything you want, assist other family and friends, realize that this an amazing time in your life and a start with an awesome stage of your life with limitless freedom and possibilities.

Okay so when we finally retired, how are we supposed to start our lives in retirement? I believe it’s something that calls for celebration; you should celebrate yourself after several decades of putting in hard work into your careers and raising your families. A lot of positive attitude can go a long way.

Please keep me in mind for senior executive engagements, board openings and coaching. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. [email protected]


Posted by Cliff Locks On June 20, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized


Have you been able to make progress in your career to the extent that you now supervise or manage other people?

If yes, you will know how tough things can become when the members of your team are not just good enough and are not bring in the expected results.

However, as a good leader, you need to help your team members to harness their potentials and bring out the best in them. Consequently, listed below are a few strategies to assist you to get the best out of your team members.

To begin with, schedule constant meetings ‘one on one’ with everyone in your team and ensure the meetings are not canceled.

Also, whenever you delegate any task to a member of your team, ensure that you both reach an agreement and when to check-in and do your follow-up.

And in conclusion, spend some periods with your direct subordinates, where you give them only positive reviews.

Get the best out of your team members, and you have a resounding success in your career.

Watch an excellent 8-minute video I created on this important topic, it’s very informative.

Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative senior executive engagements and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. [email protected]


Posted by Cliff Locks On May 16, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized


Every one of us is well familiar with the common saying “it is not about your knowledge, it is all about who you know.” I’ll be revealing my networking strategies which have assisted me in no little way to double my yearly income.


LinkedIn - Cliff Locks


I have over three thousand LinkedIn connections, well everybody can click and invite people to get additional connections, however, I’m pretty sure that you are asking how well am I acquainted with those connections individually, so I will share how I achieved that and my strategy.

When I initially started making use of LinkedIn as a tool for business development, I use the actual business cards of real business people that I have collected for many years and have the contacts moved to my database on LinkedIn. Now every week, regardless of where I am, whether a networking event or a cocktail party, anybody I meet in the week, on Friday I connected with them and mentioned something we talked about in our discussion to make the connection to become personal.

It’s important, and it’s not much effort to remain active and personal with your connections. LinkedIn contains an amazing tool in which there is an information feed of every one of my connects, together with the organizations that are associated with. Therefore, if any of my client or colleague has a birthday, been promoted or switched to a new firm, I will get the notification so what I do is to a congratulatory email to them thereby ensuring that we remain connected.

Here is my strategy to remain connected over a long period of time. There is another amazing tool on LinkedIn which grants you access to the email details of your connects, I send out periodic emails and blog posts to my VIP connections and our clients and keep them abreast of developments in our organization, whether it is brand new projects that we are embarking on, self improvement strategies, or about recent events in our industry.

You may be asking yourself, how exactly does networking and keeping in touch influence the growth of your business?

When you have good connections on LinkedIn, what happens is that both your business and community will realize that you have extensive expertise and resources to contribute. I believe in giving back to my connection and should anyone requests for help, and I love assisting my colleagues. So in the long run, being generous leads to the growth of the business. I am a large proponent of giving back to the society, when you do something for your community, what you are doing is assisting your contacts and colleague to connect with each other. In the long run, that will greatly help my own company to grow and develop.

In case you have any secret networking strategies, kindly drop them in the comment section and in case you are yet to, kindly link up with me on LinkedIn, let me know what you’re working on and can I assist you.

Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.


Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm / In: Uncategorized


When it gets to certain stage in your career, it is not uncommon for you to hear about the kinds of habits displayed by successful people. Generally, these kinds of habits are many and comprise the newest ranging from the best attitudes in networking to focus. The best ten are generally clever in all honesty, and they are really lot more difficult than they seemed and many people have not been able to gain a mastery of them. Today I will be revealing just one and the best habit of the extremely successful leaders. As a matter of fact, it could well be something you have been doing and stopped along the line because you have so many other tasks taking your time.  It’s pretty easy and it what we all can achieve.

The topmost habit is known as lunchtime. Extremely successful individual don’t work round the clock. It is not in their habit to munched their sandwiches when they are on a conference call, what they do is go for real vacation to rejuvenate and revitalize. They apply wisdom while spending their vacation. You can apply the following strategies to put your lunch hour to wise use.

To start with, move around. Being stationary for the whole day will cause harm to your body, therefore, move away from your table and if there is no time for you to go to the gym just take a stroll instead.

The next habit you must inculcate is eating together with other people. Make use of the lunch hour to network with fresh colleagues or to develop current relationships.

Have you been making use of your lunch hour wastefully, turn your lunch hour to a great habit and pretty soon you will realize just how really efficient you can become.

An additional resource: Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Importance of Selling Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Selling Yourself

If I mention the word “self-promotion or probably “marketing yourself” what exactly crops up in your mind? Several people believe that self- promotion is not a good term; selling yourself has some negative meaning. Though this channel of selling can be utilized for bad purposes, it can as well be utilized for good. Moreover, when there is no selling, we won’t have the opportunity to have several amazing things since virtually everything we have and uses were sold to us. The clothes we are putting on, our mobile phones, jewelry, etc. if you really have something tangible to offer in your place of work, then it is about time to conquer your hatred for selling. I will reveal 3 strategies to overcome your hatred for selling today, in order to be able to offer your wonderful service and talents to a whole lot more people.

Listed below are three strategies to take out the not so good that is associated with selling and include the good.

To start with, repackage selling; begin to see selling in a different light. Have a change of orientation. Begin to realize that selling involves giving or offering service, when other people realize the different ways through which you can be of service, they would like to patronize your services

Next to that is the need to concentrate on making a difference. Whenever you talk about the services you render, concentrate on the influence you can make, the results you can achieve, the advantages you offer. People love to purchase things that are useful to them. In conclusion, be enthusiastic; people love to make their purchases from those that are genuinely passionate about the service they render. If you talk with passion, vigor and enthusiastically about your services, many people will easily buy into your ideas and invest in your passion.

If you render your services with the right attitude, for the right purpose and to the right folks, selling won’t have any inkling of evil. As a matter of fact, selling your special abilities and priceless contributions can really make a big difference in the world.

Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it.  I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director.  As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 4:08 pm / In: Uncategorized

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Making deals in the place of work is every task. We all wish that our suggestion to be accepted, we fight for scarce resources, we wish to have access to those who call the shots, therefore we naturally have to make deals. Making negotiation at the place of work is worlds apart from negotiating the cost of a condo or car. At our place of work, we make negotiations with our colleagues and supervisors and at times our buddies- we have a long-term relationship with these folks. Today I will be revealing 3 strategies for making negotiation with your colleagues in the workplace and thereby maintaining your relationship as well.

You can apply the 3 strategies discussed here to maintain your relationship while making negotiations. The first one is that you need to concentrate on a collective future. Generally, people are more inclined to be a bit fairer if they are aware that you are together with them for the long haul. Always reiterate collective interest that will be beneficial to both of you down the road. You could say something such as I’m quite aware that both of us are devoted to effecting changes that will enhance our performance in the long-term.

The second strategy is that you must steer clear of anything that will make them angry. It is totally unreasonable to say something that will make them angry when you are to develop a long-term relationship. Keep away from those topics that will get them worked up. Never say something such as all you are interested in is your final profit.

The third strategy is that you must always maintain your calmness. Behavior is infectious; hence if you speak quietly and with calmness, the person you are making negotiation with will be more inclined to accept. If your partner becomes a bit angry or tempers start flaring, slow the conversation down and speak in a reduce tone. This will go a long way in calming the flaring nerves. Allow everywhere to become quiet and then tell your partner that you love to resolve the problem with them.

We are all aware that careers thrive on relationships, there when making deals with your colleagues, always to maintain and even enhance your relationship with them. In future, you might have forgotten what the negotiation is all about, but how you treated the feelings of the partner you negotiated with will never be forgotten.

Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Achieving Your Goals

As a society, we are often obsessed with setting goals. It is not even impossible that you are not happy with yourself because you haven’t made sufficient progress on your list of goals for the year, or in your case, maybe you have too many goals that you don’t even have the faintest idea of where to take off and what you should be concentrating on. From one year to another, we are constantly falling short because of the goal trapped we set for ourselves. Rather than following this pattern, let’s have something different this year; let’s replace our vast goals with just one or two goals that can really make a real difference in our choices.

Start by relaxing and two-part exercise to work through during the fourth quarter and the upcoming end of year holiday period.

Exercise one: select two words to define this last year. As an individual, 2017 was exciting and a little disconcerting.

Exercise two: select two words to explain how the New Year will be for you. As an individual, 2018 will be amazing and impactful.

How many goals do you currently work on? Is it working for you?

If you need help in accomplishing your goals, let’s talk. schedule a call:

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm / In: Uncategorized

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

You’ve possibly heard may be on too many occasions on how you can achieve happiness. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the latest Holy Grail. You already know that the quest for fame or wealth does not lead to happiness. But it is not impossible that you are pondering if it is really necessary to have deep reflections and keep a thankfulness diary in order to attain that much desired happy state. Well, due to a Harvard research that has been closely monitoring the lifestyles of over 700 for almost ten decades, we currently understand that there actually exists just one big key to happiness, do you have an idea of what that is?

There is no other big key to happiness other than interpersonal relationships. In the research, it was discovered that the individuals who have the most robust working relationships were not just happier, they were also healthier. Now these kinds of relationships were not just with spouses and family members but also with best friends and colleagues. Do you ever spend quality time with your friends?  23% percent of Americans admitted to not having anyone to discuss with; how terrible. We   all can do something about this ugly situation.

Let’s spend lesser time with television and spend more qualitative time with people. Obviously, internet relationships have not done to make us happier.

Let’s become more familiar with our neighbors. One of the most important achievements to my personal life this year has been a book society as well as spending time with my neighbors down in the hallway.

Let’s welcome our co-workers to have coffee breaks with us. Relationships in the workplace bring a lot of considerable transformation to our happiness and this is awesome. Study shows that having a high five, fist bump or handshake with friends in the workplace will make the friendship bonds even stronger.

Attaining happiness is actually not too complex. It’s about one basic thing, opening ourselves to others and equally allowing others to open themselves to us.

Thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones. I’m a professional mentor; enhance up your leadership potential by making an appointment to talk. I look forward to helping you define your vision of success and achieving it. Schedule a Call: