March 30, 2016

Open Mind Policy

Think about your mentors, those people who have helped you and your career along the way. They found somewhere deep inside to motivate your strengths and help you realize your goals. They didn't make it about them, they didn't impart their goals on you. They pushed you to be a better you.

Malcolm Gladwell opines in his book Outliers there is no such thing as a self-made person. Those who have come before us have afforded us opportunities to succeed. None of us does this alone no matter how it may appear. Marcus Buckingham reminds us that we need to stop working on our weaknesses and focus solely on our strengths.

Imagine an organization where your good work is encouraged and your shortcomings are turned into prospects for others on the team who thrive where you may not.

Asking the Right Questions

How are you preparing your team for success and leadership? Is it a collaborative atmosphere or one of fear? Are strengths celebrated more than weaknesses highlighted? Does everyone have a clear vision on culture and objectives? Is your mind open to their opinions and ideas?

Balance and fairness look good on a well crafted business plan but in the heat of the battle, they can be tough to maintain. But they must remain top priorities because without them, you will be left with managers and bosses while leadership will be accidental at best. Success will left up to guesswork.

If you are in a lead position, make time for your people or watch the very thing you are working to build begin to crumble. Leadership is not on an organizational chart or an email signature.

It resides within every member of your team

March 23, 2016

Striking a Balance

We’ve heard it for decades – we need a healthy balance between work and life. Family, sports, hobbies, down time, relaxing, all the stuff we enjoy doing outside of work are some of the reasons we go to work so we can afford such luxuries.

As we struggle with the boundaries between work and life, Nigel Marsh shares some ideas of how we can tackle this critical issue.


March 19, 2016

Enough Already!

The annual strategic meetings are on. The big boss says profit margins need to widen. The new product line has to help increase market share. The southwest division has to pick it up on sales results. The list goes on.

The desire for infinite monetary growth permeates the room. No one is allowed to say this year will probably be a flat year because of market shifts and customer demands. No one would suggest business comes with ebbs and flows. And so does life.

We Need More Stuff!

In the developing world, it appears the need for prosperity and material possessions is a core belief and desire. But as we emerged from the worse economic downturn in eight decades there could be a slight shift in some perspective.

Do we really need the four bedroom house on half an acre? Can we wait another year before we buy that new car? Are 34 dress shirts enough? Does anyone need that many pairs of shoes?

When will we have enough? When will it be enough?

We know buying stuff keeps the economy going and all of us employed. We need to ensure we can sustain our lives now and into retirement but the desire for something that we can’t even define is creating widespread unhappiness and uncertainty.

Perhaps the bigger decision is to figure out who we want to spend our time with and what experiences we seek.

Or we could keep hoping we find enough.

March 11, 2016

Counting Beans and Forgetting People

If you dig deep enough, you’ll find most people have some sort of grievance about their work and it’s often something they can’t quantify. Bars are filled with colleagues grumbling about their situation and those chats are often not about products.

Companies spend most of the time refining their offer and trying to increase revenue. Time is spent more on the business and what suffers is time in the business and more importantly on the people. All too often a 'less is more' mantra is adopted. Supplies are thrown from the boat in the hopes the survivors will make it home safely.

Downsize to Success?

Sometimes cuts need to be made but before you make them, have a close look at what’s going on in your organization. Without superior talented and well directed strong people, the amount of money you think you are saving from the bottom line by making knee jerk cuts will evaporate over time. While a competitor who values people and internal customer service over a quick fix may win the day.

The passion and ideas of people are all we have and without them we can chase profit every day and we will never find it. Instead, try five powerful words.

How can I help you?

March 8, 2016

Doing the Right Things

We are all judged and measured by our performance. But before calculating revenue, memberships, or constituents, the key to any organizational growth begins with the relationships within the organization. Great culture brings results. Ensuring people enjoy coming to work every day so they can bring their best must be a top priority.

With that in mind, some words of wisdom.

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.
Adlai E. Stevenson II

Power isn't control at all. Power is strength, and giving that strength to others.
Beth Revis

Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal;
Avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader.
Lao Tzu

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
Nancy D. Solomon

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter Drucker

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa

If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.
Steve Jobs

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

March 4, 2016

You're Never Gonna Feel Like it

We all have those moments, those things, those conversations, those fill in the blank, that we say we want to tackle but we often find plenty of brilliant excuses. It's not the right time; it's best we wait; I'll get to it soon; blah blah blah. I've posted this before on this site and it's worth another watch.

Mel Robbins demystifies the excuses and drops the f-bomb.


March 1, 2016

Introverts and Extroverts Converge

I'm an extrovert introvert who enjoys collaborating in team and group environments but also needs and enjoys some chill time on my own to recharge. I’m an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception) which means I focus on intuition and external connections. But there is a strong internal piece which is key to process how I feel about things and how they fit into my value system.

I live in the world of possibilities – which can trip me up on follow through – but I see life as a gift and literally wake up every day looking forward to the possibilities. I have my share of down times and self-doubt which again is typical of someone driven by emotion and connection.

Upside Down

When I look at the 20 or so people I spend the most time with, it’s a mix, which is typical of an ENFP as I get energy from others and the varied traits they bring. And some of the closest people in my life are actually introverts. If you know one or are one, you know the label isn't completely accurate. The ones in my life are incredibly personable, engaging, and funny. Introvert means shy and withdrawn and I disagree with those broad labels.

I have a colleague who is an introvert and prefers to solve issues at work one-on-one in plain language through conversation and collaboration while her boss wants every report in triplicate to outline the effectiveness of the analysis of the plan. One gets energy from relationships while the other can’t operate without reports and structure.


One of my best friends – who is definitely an extrovert – is a very successful investment advisor who does most of his work on the phone or with clients rather than sitting in his office doing paperwork. His energy comes from being with and helping people and he does it all day long.

So if you have someone on your team who isn't like you, celebrate that, celebrate them, and get to know their way, their perspective, and their view on the world. We can talk about the multi-generational workplace another time.

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