CARL NIELSON, Leadership and Career Coach

I provide coaching to indivduals in three primary areas of interest:

1) Professional growth, typically for those on the succession path for larger responsibilities within their company or looking to change jobs or careers
2) Individual growth, typically for people wanting to leverage their talents, gain greater satisfaction in their work and life; or for those wanting to tackle a large goal with professional support
3) Entrepreneurs, executives and business owners wanting to become better leaders and managers; to take their organization to new level.

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Corporate Services: Executive, Career and Professional Growth Coaching, Team Development

“Successful people decide how they are going to live; they are not victims of circumstance. In good times or bad times, they know where they are going and they know that they are going to get there.”
Bob Proctor

Knowing that you are going to get there is a form of hope-based optimism if you are not taking the proactive steps necessary to accomplish your goals. Knowing that you are going to get there is a form of fact-based optimism if you are engaged and consistently focused on the tasks needed to accomplish those goals. Carl Nielson provides the tools and strategies to identify what you need to break through barriers. He also provides development tools and coaching as a solid solution to diagnose and focus your needs. Carl partners with his corporate clients to create tangible results that benefit the individual and the business. Whether it is a merger or acquisition, an under-performing team or an executive wanting to grow their organization without any missteps, The Nielson Group is a total talent management offering with solutions for selection to team development to high potential coaching to leadership coaching. Let’s talk! Visit The Nielson Group home page to learn more or call us at 972.346.2892.

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Carl Nielson Speaks at HR Gulf Coast Symposium

Carl Nielson, managing principal of The Nielson Group and Chief Discovery Officer of Success Discoveries spoke at the 19th Annual Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resources Issues. His presentation was a repeat of the previous year where the session was considered one of the top sessions of the conference. The theme of the conference,

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Getting More Hundred Percenters in Your Organization

A groundbreaking new leadership book called “Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give it Their All, and They’ll Give You Even More” (McGraw-Hill), shows why trying to make employees happy does not work, and details how leaders should inspire employees to passionately give 100% every day.  The author and founder of Leadership IQ, Mark Murphy, is hosting 2 free live webcasts to discuss the book.

Murphy makes many good points. The book is worth the read. You can get it at Amazon. We’ve posted it on our shorter Recommended Reading List.

Murphy offers some excellent facts to consider as you reflect on your own leadership style.

  • More than 70% of employees would rather work for a leader who challenged them with difficult goals and required them to learn new skills.
  • If leaders assign really difficult goals, employees perform better and have more self-confidence.
  • SMART Goals can be dumb, and often discourage employees from pushing themselves and developing new skills.
  • Many leaders unknowingly discourage employees from becoming hundred percenters through insufficient recognition and tolerating slackers.
  • Hundred Percenters want lots of constructive feedback, but you should never deliver it with a Compliment Sandwich.
  • If you’re going to assess your employees with a survey, never ask if they’re satisfied (and never use a five-point scale).
  • You cannot build an organization of hundred percenters if you tolerate Talented Terrors (people with 100% skills but 0% attitude). 

Through my corporate consulting business, The Nielson Group, I provide small and large clients with tools and strategies that enable leaders to create more Hundred Percenters. It involves developing key accountabilities for the job and assessing the job’s skill demands. It also involves assessing the incumbent employee’s talent using the TriMetrix Personal Talent assessment. To learn more about this, I have uploaded a PPT presentation with audio. You’ll need to download the files and then run the PPS (PowerPoint Show) on your computer. 

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CNN reports that 95% of jobs aren’t listed on job boards. How to find jobs that aren’t even listed

Job-boards won’t land you a job: According to CNN 95% of jobs aren’t even listed

Most job positions are hidden to the public and aren’t listed publically. Many job seekers rely on posting their resume online and answering listings through job boards. This has never been an effective way of landing a job - just ask anyone you know who has had to do their own job search.

The best strategy, as much as people might hate it, is rather old school. 

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End of the Day Questions

17 END-OF-THE-DAY questions for YOU!

  1. Did I make someone giggle, smile or laugh today?
  2. Did I take the time to really listen to someone today, with rapt attention, as if nothing else mattered in that precious moment but the words they spoke and the look in their eyes?
  3. Did I allow myself to focus on all the blessings in my life today instead of contemplating the things I don’t have?
  4. Did I take a moment to imagine what I would like to experience in my life, if for no other reason than in the imagining, is the living, and in the living, comes the joy and delight?

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What Every CEO Wants

A Lesson in What One Person and an Entire “Organization” Can Do
Perhaps the most popular person and television personality in the world is Oprah. Oprah’s magic shows up in whatever she does. But even Oprah was taken by what happened at her kickoff concert as she states at the end of the song “I Gotta Feeling” when she said “That was so cool, how did you all do that?”

Her new season kickoff concert starring Black Eyed Peas produced a lesson for every leader about what one person and an entire “organization” of 20,000 can do. This is fitting for any leader but is also very applicable to you and me as individuals leading in our communities, churches, synagogues and schools. With the world moving at a faster pace than ever before, you may think one person, perhaps you, can’t possibly have much impact. Watch the performance by Black Eyed Peas first and then read more for the lesson.

If you are a C-Level executive or manager of people, place yourself in the role of Oprah watching what is happening from the stage. Also, pretend the audience to be all of your employees (and customers) celebrating accomplishment of wildly important goals for the company.

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Has Anger Become an Issue or Have We Lost the Concept of Respect for Others?

“Does Serena Williams, Kenye West and Rep. Wilson demonstrate the need for anger management or is it something else?”
America is exploding with public displays of person-directed anger in sports, entertainment and politics. While anger is a normal human emotion, the displays of verbal aggression and anger by West, Williams and Rep. Wilson represents unhealthy anger which destroys interpersonal relationships as well as the reputation of the perpetrator.

According to George Anderson, an anger management coach, there are six situations in which anger is unacceptable in a civil society:

  1. When it is too intense.
  2. When it occurs too frequently.
  3. When it lasts too long.
  4. When it leads to person-directed aggression or violence.
  5. When it destroys interpersonal relationships.
  6. When it has health implications.

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Is Fear Irrational? Life’s Biggest Con

The Friday Insight of the Day story, “Life’s Biggest Con” (by Adrienne Rich, Auckland, New Zealand) addresses fear. It is a great story of personal achievement and an example of unconditional love overtaking fear. I’ve re-posted the article in this posting (click Read More) to read the article.

When fear enters our personal space, it seems to take over and consume thinking patterns. Think of a time when you and somone close to you (spouse, sibling, close friend) were receiving the same information and one of you were operating from a perspective of fear and the other was not. Did conflict happen? Did you have an arguement about what to do? How fustrating was the conversation?

For most circumstances fear generates irrational thinking because the situation isn’t really demanding or needing the emotion of fear. Think of the last time you “worried” abut a situation. Was fear a part of the emotion. What was the true root cause of the fear? If you could eliminate fear all together and operate from a place of courage (no fear, zero risk of a bad outcome, guaranteed desired outcome), how would you have thought differently?

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In case of an emergency, Put YOUR Oxygen Mask on FIRST

I love this picture of three hamsters.  Projecting human qualities, it makes a statement about what can be. What strikes me the most is the one on top - now that’s a hamster who clearly understands personal accountability!

My thought to share with you is admiration for the beauty of the principle that we get more of what we want/desire/need when we give others what they want/desire/need

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How Did We End Up Here?

An article on by Gibson Scheid, Ph.D. caught my attention. The title of the article is repeated for this post. Because I coach adults and high school students, the title was sure to have something of interest for me to consider. I’ve repeated the article here (it is short) and added my commentary at the end. What are your thoughts? Email me at

By Gibson Scheid, Ph.D.
We move through life in irregular motions to arrive at places that seem they were planned destinations. Our choices create a pattern—giving shape to what we become. Some of our decisions—both large and small are deliberate, or so they feel at the time. Life takes place in 24-hour increments and we clock our movement accordingly.

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How would you alter a performance management discussion based on behavioral style or generation?

This question fits more into my consulting work through The Nielson Group but I’m using Success Discoveries as my central HQ on the Internet. If you want to see what The Nielson Group is all about go here. John Smith, Instructor at University of Phoenix in St. Louis, has posted before on this, and gives his reader’s digest version here. His thinking and mine are so aligned, I felt he said it all more eloquently than I could and wanted you to benefit from his writing (and my thinking). So I have re-posted John’s take here which is mine as well.  You can find John on LinkedIn at

John Smith: I don’t buy off on the idea that there are significant differences between the generations based on behavioral profiles (CARL: If you are not familiar with behavioral styles, contact me for a complimentary behavioral assessment and debriefing at ). While I’m sure that the percentages change somewhat based on age groupings, I have a feeling that similar shifts could be observed within cultural, geographic, or industry groups, to name a few. 

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Is it Time to Improve Your Networking Skills?

Even with unemployment on the rise, you may be thinking you are in a good position. No risk of you losing your job, right?. So networking is probably way down on your priority list. If you are recently unemployed, you may be in shock, perhaps wondering just how you are going to rebound in this bad economy.

Regardless of your personal situation, may I suggest you raise networking on your priority list. If you are in a strong, secure situation, then you are in a position to help others. Why do that if everything is good? Because I haven’t met anyone who made it through their entire life/career without at some point needing their network. So if there were ever a good time in the last century to decide to help others, this is it. One of the best ways to be effective at helping others is to network - make yourself accessible to others by interacting with others.

For some, especially those in professional sales, networking is second nature. But for most, Networking (with a capital N) is one of those tasks that never seems to take center stage until we are desperate. Then, when you actually do some networking, it tastes bad. It doesn’t feel right.

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Our newest product just in time for Valentine

We’re offering a special on Success Discoveries for Couples™ through the month of February. This special e-delivered self-directed program is a fun, insightful and moving assessment and guidebook for couples. If you’re a guy wanting to make a few points in the “build the relationship” category, this will do it for sure. If you are a gal wanting to find a way to get your guy to have more balance and happiness in his life - with you, this is the program! If you fear he won’t appreciate it, just tell him it was designed by a guy for guys and that I put my personal money back guarantee on his satisfaction. And best of all, we’ve priced it to be affordable in a down economy. Valued and priced normally at $250, we are offering this as a Valentine’s special for only $79! This includes the Success Discoveries for Couples™ printable e-book, and the Success Discoveries Relationship assessment pack for two! On March 1st, the price goes back to $250.

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Don’t Follow the Follower

From The Essence of Success by Earle Nightingale

Processionary caterpillars travel in long, undulating lines, one creature behind the other. Jean Hanri Fabre, the French entomologist, once lead a group of these caterpillars onto the rim of a large flowerpot so that the leader of the procession found himself nose to tail with the last caterpillar in the procession, forming a circle without end or beginning.

Through sheer force of habit and, of course, instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the flowerpot for seven days and seven nights, until they died from exhaustion and starvation. An ample supply of food was close at hand and plainly visible, but it was outside the range of the circle, so the caterpillars continued along the beaten path.

People often behave in a similar way. Habit patterns and ways of thinking become deeply established, and it seems easier and more comforting to follow them than to cope with change, even when that change may represent freedom, achievement, and success.

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Happy New Year!

Michael Josephson ( wrote an article for Insight of the Day, a daily inspirational, that was worthy of posting here on my page. Please take just a moment to read about TheYear-End Attitude Inventory for your own benefit (Click Read More). Happy New Year!

Take a Year-End Attitude Inventory

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Predictably Irrational

Do you know why we so often promise ourselves to diet and exercise, only to have the thought vanish when the dessert cart rolls by?

Do you know why we sometimes find ourselves excitedly buying things we don’t really need?

Do you know why we still have a headache after taking a five-cent aspirin, but why that same headache vanishes when the aspirin costs 50 cents?

Do you know why people who have been asked to recall the Ten Commandments tend to be more honest (at least immediately afterward) than those who haven’t? Or why honor codes actually do reduce dishonesty in the workplace?

To play the Door game (very interesting) and watch the funny video (book promotion)…

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Why Employ a Coach?

One of if not the thought leader in the profession of coaching is Thomas Leonard.

Thomas, along with a team of thought leaders compiled a laundry list of reasons “everyone” should employ a coach. The list is very compelling. Take a minute to review the list and see how many reasons fit for you.

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Daily Inspiration

Here’s an idea that evolved over time into something I never expected. I’m being told by many visitors to the website that they have made my Quote of the Day page their “home page” on their Internet browser. Each day three new quotes are displayed (quote of the day, funny quote of the day and love quote of the day). I also post YouTube inspirational videos that I find. Those don’t change daily but you can watch other “motivational-related” videos directly from the page. I don’t support, promote or benefit from any company that produced the videos. I just find the videos to be effective at getting the day started with the right frame of mind. 

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