Monday, November 14, 2022

Lead by Removing Obstacles


To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Jay Hidalgo from Michigan, and invited him to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A discussion about leadership and the employee experience. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.

Jay Hidalgo serves as a business and leadership coach, helping executives at businesses, non-profit organizations, and ministries grow their organizations, improve operational efficiency, and reach their target markets. His approach is straightforward: Define the current state; identify goals and objectives; then create and implement the right strategic process and framework to get there.

QUESTION: You do something different when it comes to coaching, something called Life Planning. Can you please explain?
JAY HIDALGO: Years ago, I was introduced to a strategic planning process for companies to help them determine where they were, where they wanted to go, and how to get there. Life Planning is the same approach, but for one’s own life. Through a series of conversations, I lead participants through the process of self-assessment, determination of passion and purpose, plans for achieving a more fulfilling life, and accountabilities to make sure the plan keeps moving forward.

QUESTION: You wrote a thought-provoking post on your blog entitled "The Power of Pause." Can you please elaborate?

(Read the full post here:

JAY HIDALGO: The post was motivated by a client of mine, one who saw the value in stopping once a quarter to review, reflect, and reset. In his case, we do this company wide. We take the leadership team off-site, I lead them through a series of conversations to assess where the company has been, where it is, and where it’s going next. This practice of reflection has transformed the entire organization. But it’s not just for companies. I have encouraged all my clients to schedule the same kind of reflection time for their lives, to take the time to assess where they are, to identify what needs to change moving forward. Those that have taken me up on this have found tremendous clarity, insight, and effectiveness, both personally and professionally.

QUESTION: On your website, you feature a very interesting diagram to identify team member strengths. How does this work?

(The diagram can be found here:

JAY HIDALGO: I believe you are referring to the strengths wheel. This diagram illustrates how a person receives, processes, and acts on information. The orange bar represents a person’s natural strengths, how they’re hardwired. The red represents their "strengths movement," how they think they need to adapt to survive in their current environment.

Often, we find people working against themselves, trying to be something they're not. When we can identify that, then we can work on ways to get them working more in line with how they are naturally gifted. Doing so brings increased efficiency and job satisfaction.

QUESTION: You state that you've "been leading companies through #StratOp (The Paterson Process) for the last 5 years. The average company has experienced 23% growth per year with this process." Can you please explain the process?
JAY HIDALGO: Sure. StratOp stands for STRATEGIC and OPERATIONS. It’s a system for working ON your business that governs how you work IN your business. It’s made up of 6 components:
(1) Perspective: Getting detailed understanding of where the organization currently stands.
(2) Planning: Creating a detailed roadmap for where the organization is currently headed.
(3) Action: Determining the steps that need to be taken in the next 90 days.
(4) Structure: Determining the people, processes, and systems needed to effectively execute the plan.
(5) Management: Quarterly coming together to assess performance in implementing the plan.
(6) Renewal: Annually coming together to see what parts of the plan need to change.

This is all tied together by looking at the strategic (the future of the business), the operational (managing today’s business), and the financial (funding both the strategic and the operational).

QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does this quote mean to you?
JAY HIDALGO: I have a similar quote that I share with leaders: A leader's job is to do two things: give your team everything you can to help them succeed, and remove every obstacle that keeps them from succeeding.

TWEET THIS: A leader's job is to do 2 things: give your team everything to help them succeed & remove every obstacle that keeps them from succeeding. ~@jayhidalgo #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My thanks to Jay for sharing his leadership insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credits: Michael Dziedzic via Unsplash and Jay Hidalgo.

Connect with Jay using these links:
Twitter: @jayhidalgo

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