Posts Tagged ‘support local business’


February 20th, 2018

Wow!  They started with a bang, those nineteen-year-olds, setting up their office in an empty “office space” that had no frills, none at all.  They begged and borrowed desks, chairs, a flip chart from family, and got started.  Boom!

When you’re in the flow, you feel like you can do anything

Yesterday they were in a flow, so much so that they stayed at their new office all night.  The five young men are starting their own business, and what they lack in experience they more than make up for in passion, energy, and creativity.

And I get to coach them, what an honor.  I am passionate because they are so passionate.

Bending over backwards to get things done can be difficult, but when you are passionate, it may work out great

They already have a few jobs, and contracts and they have hopes of making money next year.  I haven’t met with them as their startup coach yet, but it seems like they are on their way to success, and that is great!

Over to you

What about you?  What’s getting you excited about your life?  Your work?

You need a passionate why

Where’s your passion?  What do you always have energy for?

Or, where do you always get hung up?  What irritates you?  What can you do about it, or what can someone else do to help you with it?

A wise man once wrote that there is a time for everything– in Switzerland this is the time to go skiing, at least for some.  For these men, it’s time to start a business. This can also be a time for you to reflect on what’s happened so far in 2018, to reflect, refocus and redirect, and then move.  Maybe you’ve lost your passion.  Maybe you are stuck.  Or maybe you are doing a good thing, but not the right thing.

Time to reflect, refocus, redirect and move on your goals


Reflect:  What’s been accomplished, so far.  What still needs to be done?  What am I feeling about this?  What do I need to do to become more efficient?  The questions are myriad.  I love this stage.  I get to do this at my first meeting with this new company.

Refocus and Redirect:  If you are not going in the right direction, or if you are focusing too much on one thing to the detriment of the best thing, it’s time to redirect and refocus.  Make a plan to get your priorities in your activities.

Finally, move.  When you have a plan, whether it be for the week, month, quarter or year, you have to move on that plan.  Sometimes it is easy, because you are so passionate and have the energy of a nineteen-year-old.  But sometimes you are scared, or tired, or burnt out.  What then?

Weeeell, then maybe the reflection time needs a different lens, maybe a different viewpoint would be needed.  Maybe help would be in order.  But for today, I want to stick with the passion and the energy that I gain vicariously from those young men.  It’s catchy!

Have a week full of passion and energy!

Patricia Jehle   



Change is good and change is hard

August 28th, 2017

CHANGE! Where are we and where do we want to go?

I am thinking about change this week, and working on a podcast to help some people implement change in their organization, so I will let my readers see a little into my ideas and thoughts.

Which changes and how?

  • change is good
  • change is hard
  • change is natural and normal, we all change; life is about change
  • change goes against the status quo and takes a lot of energy to bring about
  • change brings innovation and new energy
  • change gets stuck somewhere, usually


I believe all these and many more statements to be true about change. Change in an organization can be hard but it is necessary for continued innovation and sustained growth and life. Thus I have written up some steps and ideas to help bring about change within an organization, based on Dr. John Kotter’s seven steps.

Here are some steps to change with a few questions


  • See need and increase urgency
  • Choose your change team and find your first movers/influencers (from a large group of people across the organization at all levels)

Some Questions:

  • Do you see a Big Opportunity that could ignite the hearts and minds of your people?
  • Do you know how to identify, articulate and communicate it?
  • Are you able to connect an external change factor with a special capability of your organization?
  • What are the stakes if you succeed? Consequences if you fail?
  • Can you get at least 50% of your organization to buy in to the change?
  • How will you find a way to engage a formalized network to take on the change initiative?
  • How can this new change be seen as a “want to” and not a “have to”?


  • How might current hierarchical and silo-based structures stop communication and engagement (especially regarding change)?
  • Where in your organization are people aligned around a single idea that inspires them to do things that move ideas forward?
  • Do people within the organization speak about the goals in the same way with the same priority? If not, how can these be aligned?
  • If you asked people around the organization about the Change Vision, how many different answers would you get?


  • Focus- define your vision foundation and values and choose your outcomes
  • Assess- conduct a change readiness assessment and assess where you are at the moment in terms of the chosen outcomes
  • Plan- (get and involve a coach specializing in change management)establish a change leadership team
  • What needs to be in your strategy?
  1. A vision with measurable objectives that are simple to communicate
  2. Think S.M.A.R.T. (look this up if you don’t know about it)
  3. Make a step-by step plan
  4. Involve your first movers/leaders in this planning stage so they are on the same page with you—you will need people from different areas/departments so the seeds can be sown throughout the organization
  • Spread the message- inform your first movers, make concrete change management plans, build organizational support through communication of need and plan
  1. Within and without the organization, but first within!
  2. Remove any expected barriers or resistant systems before making the change
  3. Make sure anything undermining the vision is gotten rid of


  • Enable and empower action- make sure the ones who bring change (leaders, first movers) have the power to implement the change
  • Train- initiate training and coaching of the change agents
  • Communicate- clearly communicate expectations for all involved across the whole organization, including addressing anticipated resistance
  • Implement- mobilize the (change) teams and execute the plans


  • Celebrate- celebrate all, even small, successes
  • Sustain- remember to add energy after the honeymoon stage where change often gets bogged down, don’t stop until it is finished and totally refined
  • Refine – assess progress and see where to change the process and plans
  • Adapt- identify improvement areas via continued checks and feedback
  • Continue to communicate-
  1. Go public with your change(s)- share with all donors and other key stakeholders outside of your organization
  2. Show the public where you are and where you want to go and the way you plan to get there: articulate a clear vision for everyone
  3. Repeat your vision until it becomes know, up to 12 months

Change is hard

Adapted from:



August 22nd, 2017

A time to laugh and a time to cry

A wise man once wrote something like this: “There is a time under heaven for everything: a time to laugh and a time to cry…” And, no it was not a Beatle who wrote it first. Last week I blogged about using your negative emotions about terrible circumstances to get going ( ) and do something, and I must admit, after Barcelona and the other happenings of this past week, it would be good for some of us to continue in this direction.


But there is also a time for celebration and I have just had some good times of celebration, especially over the weekend.


A Wedding

First, I went to a very celebratory wedding. For me a highlight was when the pastor called the (sitting) bride back to the middle of the church and made her pirouette for the whole church to see. The people cheered and clapped in appreciation of the bride and the festivity.



Then there is Badenfahrt. I can’t say “was” because it goes on till the evening of the 27th. But the family has been going to it off an on since it started last Friday night. It is expected that a million people will attend the gala celebration by the end of the week. I have also been able to volunteer for our village’s restaurant/bar, the Freienwil Bergbahn, for a couple of evenings. That was a blast, serving people and working with neighbors to make our guests satisfied. I expect I will be going a few more times before the festival is over, and I am looking forward to more fun!

Badenfahrt on the bridge

Celebrate creating

Last week I got to play and celebrate with kids, too. We celebrated their creations. I went and volunteered with a group who helps refugees, and this time we went to a center and made bread with about 14 refugee children. It was sweet to see the smaller ones knead and eat the dough, while the older ones were seriously focused on their creations of bread-art (turtles, people, snails, braids, etc.). A few kids kneaded their dough so long that the chocolate bits in the dough melted from the heat of their hands. At the end we all celebrated the children’s accomplishments, as the beautiful bread creations came out of the oven smelling wonderful, and looking great!


What are you celebrating?

It is good to celebrate with one another. Are you celebrating a new “win” for your business or for your career? Are you celebrating with others, as they celebrate, you can too! Are you going out to something like Badenfahrt, or attending a wedding? There is a time for these good things and sometimes, like vacation, we need celebrations. They are good for our souls.


This week I wish you one full of joy and thankfulness as you celebrate!

Patricia Jehle     blog:

contact me at:


Also, if you are a SME owner or leader, I invite you to join my group, “SMEs Grow Together” on LinkedIn:


Shake it up! Robots, Business Ideas, and Relational Thinking

December 12th, 2016

Going places and Meeting People

The past week or so has seen some interesting developments in my activities. They have to do with Robots, Business Ideas at the FHNW and attending a talk and a book launch of “The Relational Lens” in Geneva.


Business ideas: gin and the Internet of Things

I was honored to have been invited to an event called “Business Ideas” at school last Thursday night- sponsored by Swiss Upstart, CTI Entrepreneurs and IFJ AG


We were invited to hear about CTI courses ( ) and the start-up contests the school supports, of course but also to hear two different stories of very different business ideas and the lessons they have learned on their way as entrepreneurs.


One company works as a service company with big data and other web support services. The other company distills and sells its own liquor. Having two such entrepreneurs in the room who had varied experiences and ideas was helpful for those of us in the room: FHNW students, business owners and leaders, and others.



Alterlis is a service company dealing with The Internet of Things. The CEO suggested that start-ups focus on customers and sales and do not for get that, ever. He gave a very good list of what to do when starting up and in what order: idea (meaning and use), name, logo, motivation (of all involved), responsibilities, taxes and legal issues, ethics (for all- clarified), how to deal with numbers and cash (notary and bookkeeping)UT the same VISION). In a fifteen-minute presentation the basics were given clearly.


Gin and Vodka from Zürich

Better Taste distills and sells liquor and has done very well since starting up. The group of four started with an idea and worked on a (secret) gin recipe until it was just right. Then they began producing and selling their product, Turicum Gin. It helped that they had contacts into the Zürich night-club scene and that they knew the market as well as the product. All their marketing has been of the boot-strapping kind and yet they are doing quite well, having moved into black figures just after 9 months of production. One of their best marketing methods is sponsoring their own events with their products being available.


Personal Robots

Last Tuesday I and a few others spent the afternoon at a plant where personal robots are being designed, developed, and made for use ( ).   That afternoon was a personal dream come true because I have always been a fan of science fiction and I felt like I was inside one of those books I have read.


Personal robots can be maids, cooks and butlers, but also medical providers and home health givers. They can be personal assistants of any kind. And they can learn. The recognize faces and voices, and can be run via an app. Wow. I am still digesting all of this. I have friends who could really use this kind of help– and I would like one, myself, one day.


The Relational Lens – Book Launch and Seminar

Soon I will be on the train to Geneva to a Relational Thinking Network event. This is what is written about today’s talk: “Launched in London on 24 October 2016, ‘The Relational Lens: Understanding, measuring and managing stakeholder relationships’ will be introduced by Dr. Michael Schluter, CBE, the founder of the Relational Thinking Network and one of the book’s co-authors. The Relational Lens explores the crucial role of relationships in social capital, risk management, value creation and competitive advantage. It describes the Relational Proximity framework® – an analytic tool which has been used in a variety of contexts to understand, measure, strengthen and repair relationships, positively influencing outcomes.” Of course, I expect I will buy that book.


And you?

What are you doing this week or month to shake up your life and to think outside of your box? Look around and you will find some thing(s), I am sure. Have a successful week!


Patricia Jehle


Should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn: write me at:

Take great care of yourself!

March 22nd, 2016

Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a Two-Conference Weekend and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day


Sometimes we have to do something for ourselves, like going to the spa, eating chocolate ice cream, or sitting in the sun. Self-care is rather individual, unique to each person. Last weekend I went to two conferences because of my passions and interests; it was a “me weekend”. I was tired Sunday night when I returned, but the time, money and energy were well- spent!


I was able to focus on my passions: business leaders and leadership, writing, meeting people and learning new ideas and concepts.


Business Leaders:

On Friday I spent a day with business leaders ( ) hearing excellent speakers address vision and resources- there was also plenty of time to meet people and focus on more interests. I was able to meet new people, but also I ran into a few unexpected friends. One keynote speaker, Dr. Stephan Feldhaus, spoke on a business that must serve the community as well as itself, its stake and shareholders. That was a very inspiring message!



On Saturday and Sunday I was at The Geneva Writers’ Group 10th Writers’ Conference ( ), an event that I have attended a few times, now. It is well-run and the speakers are always excellent! One new concept for me was that Ann Hood talked about how every story has two (actually three) stories. I would say every piece of writing has “three stories”. The talks gave me new ideas to write about and directions in which to go.


What was in it for me:

I needed that time to absorb new ideas, meet people of similar            passions and interests, and have time to reflect on the whole weekend. The me-weekend energized me and now I am not “back to the grind”, but looking at new horizons.


Absorb new ideas:

Some of the ideas were ones I had heard before, but, as is often the case, I heard a few concepts put differently, or I even learned totally new ideas – then I have to absorb these and try to remember them. I love learning and so hearing new ideas energizes me.


People who are like-minded:

Meeting people with similar passions, either for growing SMEs (and I met a lot of those on Friday) or for Writing and Reading truly energizes me. We encourage one another; we feel the energy around us from so much enthusiasm. I feel at home and I feel empowered by these kinds of meetings.


Taking of my shoes and reflecting on each day:


“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Aurora Leigh


Each evening after the conferences I allowed myself the luxury of going to my room, taking off my shoes and putting my feet up and reflecting on the day, on the things I’d heard and seen, and the people I had met, the books I had bought, and how that might all change me and give me new perspectives. Seeing, as in the poem, brings new perspectives. I need to take that time to see.


It’s not that I have finished reflecting on the weekend; in fact, I have much more thinking to do. But those evenings alone began that process and now it must continue into this and probably next week.


So, what about you? What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to reflect on those experiences?


Patricia Jehle




Win one Today!

March 4th, 2016

Optimists Win- ALWAYS

I don’t mean the naïve ones, but the tough-minded ones.

I just read an article in the Harvard Business Review,

This article is based on a concept of a famous business leader, John Gardner. It’s called “tough-minded optimism” which is a blend of creativity in ideas, strong convictions about what works and about doing things for the “common good”, and resilience, especially when it comes to the need for change. To quote,

“The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future,” Gardner said. Rather, “it is created by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.”

According to Gardner, leaders can have a mix of abilities and qualities, but there is no replacement for what he calls, “the lift of the spirit and heightened performance that comes from motivation.”

I couldn’t agree more.

As we go into the weekend, let us remember the WHY we are doing things and if it isn’t a good enough why, then, find something better to do. If you really want to do something well, you need to believe in what you are doing.

Also, here are a few tips to help you remain positive:

1) Smile more.

There is research that proves that if your carry your body in a certain way, it can change your mood. Smiling makes you more positive. Ask Amy Cuddy.

2) Stand like Wonder Woman.

No joke. This really also gives you the positive power and presence you might need today to get out there and “win one for the Gipper”. Try it—but perhaps at home or in the bathroom, not in front of those you will be presenting to.

Finally, I want to leave you with the question that was in the article, because it is a great question:

Do you have a definition of success for your business that allows you to stand for something special and that inspires others to stand with you?

I wish you a very successful Friday!

Patricia JehleIMG_1107

Should you want to join my LinkeIn group, SMEs Grow Together, go here:

Should you want to contact me, write me at

Great Teams

March 1st, 2016

Team Meetings Can be Very Encouraging

I have a great team of fellow Regional Directors of The Alpha Group to lean on and talk to. Yesterday we had a meeting and I was so encouraged and charged up afterwards., I could have “SAVED THE WORLD” I wish all business leaders had a team like mine. We are all on the same track and we all are really excited about our “calls”.

It’s my passion to help SMEs grow. I hope to help a few local business leaders really bring their companies to the next level, to dominate their niches, to double the value of their businesses. This is my goal and what gets me up in the morning. I see my group a bit lit our Regional directors’ team: encouraging, supporting, keeping each other accountable for our goals and milestones. That’s what makes the Alpha Group special and different- we are not “just a networking group”, but instead, we are a team of business leaders helping each other through growth workshops and masterminds. We set goals and hold each other accountable to them. We meet monthly and need to do it to keep up that growth momentum.

I recently read an article from inc. that really shows what that supportive team can accomplish:

I am looking for members, but only “the best”. I can only do this with a limited number of CEOs and business leaders/owners, so I can be rather particular in the process of finding the right mix. These groups have been known to grow together a dynamic that really benefits the businesses of the participants. Some have even been attending the same group for six or seven years in the UK. This is what I want: Alpha Groups that grow each others’ businesses.

Also, I am looking for a few good partners as well as the “perfect” Alpha Group team to meet with.

Contact me if you want to know more at or join my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together


Patricia Jehle

When it rains on your parade, put up an umbrella

February 10th, 2016

Is it raining? Are there Jealousy and Tantrums?IMG_0690


Sometimes other people rain on our parade, have you ever noticed that? They also rain on other people’s parades, too. Recently I have been noticing this in my life, in my “neighbors’ ” lives, and even in the international news. This kind of raining has become prevalent. I think we should put a stop to it, at least as much as we have power over it.


I want to look at the whys for such negativity, and then suggest a way to put up your umbrella in protection, and finally encourage you not to rain on others’ parades.


Why? Jealousy


Maybe you are doing well, maybe you are even doing really great- other people who are not doing as well may want to rain on your parade. Why? -maybe because of jealousy. Or perhaps they are feeling so bad that any sort of positive movement or attention given to others makes them angry. This kind of negative activity, whether it is talking about you behind your back, trolling, writing about you in the local newspaper, or whining about you to the international press, is really bad behavior on their part and truly has nothing to do with you or your success. It is about those people and their attitudes and behaviors.


What to do? Put up an umbrella!


How do I put up and use my umbrella to protect me? The “rule” Brene Brown uses is two-fold: only people actually getting out there and trying get ahead with you are allowed to tell you anything, and of those people, only the (very) few you can trust should be taken seriously. You alone get to make that list of people and the others “don’t count” so you don’t have to listen to them. You can even, like Brene, write down that list and put it in your pocket, briefcase or handbag. So, think about those who you are going to put on your list, write it down, and ignore all others. If you have to, go off-line. Don’t read the local newspaper. Do whatever you have to do to put up that umbrella and use it.


Finally, make sure you are not raining on others’ parades. Instead, celebrate with them!


It is important to recognize and celebrate success. We need to do that for ourselves and friends and family, but why not spread the wealth and celebrate other people’s success, too? You will find yourself celebrating very often, and that is good. It is a bit like being grateful for what you have. It puts a positive spin on life. Why don’t you try doing it today? Write a note of congratulations on LinkedIn or facebook. Call a friend. Give somebody an “ataboy”! Let’s move into the future with a more positive outlook for ourselves, for your neighbors, and for the communities we live in. Celebrate you success. Celebrate the success of others.


Patricia Jehle

Hope in the midst of job cuts

January 19th, 2016

Today I am sad and I am angry



A week ago the local newspaper said that the recent “friendly takeover” of a French company by a US-based multinational with lots of our local people working for it would be “letting go” of 1,300 of them in our city. Those people are my friends and neighbors, people who have families, and mostly people who now need to find jobs in an already tough market.


Who has to pick up the pieces? The government? Can they really afford to help so many out at one time? How will this affect the local economy, anyway? Certainly the multinational firing so many people has no interest in the future of these employees and their families, and probably not in our local economy, either.


What can I do about it?



I could go and demonstrate. The local union will be holding a demonstration soon regarding the job cuts. I think demonstrations help, and I have joined in some over the years, but I wonder if I could be of more help in some other way. A way that I feel has an impact on the situation.



I could write a letter to the editor. In some ways, I am doing that with this blog, and perhaps it will help. Maybe, maybe not. But at least I feel better writing about it. It’s kind of like venting.


Buy local

I have and will continue to find ways to support local businesses and the local economy, as that is a way that I feel empowered myself, and can empower and encourage local people. Small businesses help the local economy where large multinationals tend to suck it dry, and fire my friends and neighbors.


The Alpha Group as a solution

And I will continue to use The Alpha Group as a way to support local businesses, as the group promises to double the value of the business within three years. These are the things I can do, and though it may not directly help those 1,300 families, perhaps it will help create some jobs for them in the long run. We have a group starting in Zürich and one, hopefully, soon in Baden and these will support SME business leaders, the local people.


In all these ways I feel like I can help out- maybe you are thinking and feeling similar things. What will you do to help the local economy where you live?


Hopefully yours,

Patricia Jehle