November 29, 2016

Let's Not Do That Today

Today we won’t focus on what we can’t change. Today we won’t compare ourselves to others. Today we won’t do what they say we should do. Today we won’t second guess ourselves. Today we won’t make assumptions. Today we won’t worry about yesterday.

Today we won’t sabotage our goals. Today we won’t lament about our weaknesses.

Today we won’t listen to opinions. Today we won’t expect them to read our mind. Today we won’t get distracted by actions that will derail us. Today we won’t change the past.

Today we won’t be hard on ourselves. Today we'll focus on today. Today we won’t fret the details. Today we won’t listen to our inner critic. Today we won't concern ourselves with petty arguments. Today we will get to that item we keep meaning to complete.

Today is all we got.
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November 24, 2016

Collaborative Culture Creates Cash

Every company wants success. Every shareholder wants the stock price go up every day. You want this year to be better than last. So do I. But we hit snags, gain victories, trip up, succeed, and make mistakes, all because that is the human condition.

If you’re open to a bottom line that will grow while you are strengthening the goals and desires of your team members, you're halfway there. Take your eye off the revenue long enough to help your people grow and your revenue will follow.

Give then take

As Daniel Pink says, the carrots and the sticks approach, is antiquated and short-sighted. Time and time again, I've spoken with companies who list talent retention as a big concern yet they don’t invest ample time in helping their team members grow past orientation and basic training.

Money is a driver for why we show up to work every day but it shouldn't be the only one. And if it is for your team, you have a serious issue. We should encourage everyone to bring their life to work if we expect their work to have life. Leadership is about inspiring a culture of collaboration to reach the very goals we seek in the first place.

I think it's worth a try.
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November 21, 2016

Latin Wisdom

Since we haven't reviewed these for a while, it's time for another look. This is a document I found which seems to be rather old but still quite valid. The titles are in Latin, so that may give us a hint of its age. It outlines several leadership styles; see if you recognize any of them.

Scaredycate Closedoorius | This is the manager who has an “open door policy” when no one is actually in her office. Once the meeting begins, doors are sealed. Anything discussed in said meetings are to be filtered through the perception of the boss to then be translated to staff, customers, or clients.

Likedbyallorus Needium | Great guy, super guy, always smiling, always has time for you. He deals with no actual crises. When the bullets fly, he is unfortunately very busy with other issues. As long as things are rosy and fun it’s a great place to work but conflict or client issues are brushed neatly under the corporate non-answer area rug.

Unwantiate Inputariun | The office is adorned with a bright four color bound document which outlines the company’s story, plans and mantra. Embossed on the front is the phrase “Our People Are Our Strongest Asset”. Through the threshold of the lobby is where that mantra dies a rapid painful death to make room for Unwantiate Inputarium’s benevolent dictatorship.

Lackus Spinearia | Much like Pompom Nobadnoos, this type of leader sits in his corner office praising people when things are good but is unable to make one concrete decision of any substance that will actually move the company forward. Some are amazed a human can stand upright with so little support in one's back. He thinks he’s pulling it off whilst fooling no one.

Some of these leaders walk among us.
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November 15, 2016

It's Time to Winterize

As you do every year to ready our vehicles for the impending season change, it’s wise to put your leadership performance up on the hoist once in a while to ensure everything is working well. Work can get busy and increased pressure to the bottom line can become the only focus. If you move your focus away from your people, trouble is ahead.

If you want to check your leadership alignment, see below:

1 - Do you know what you believe?
2 - Will you dedicate a minimum of 25% of your time helping others?
3 - Can you keep a truly open mind?
4 - How will you ensure you have ample think time?
5 - Are you fair and do you care about the people on your team?
6 - Could you identify one personal interest of each team member?
7 - Have you clearly outlined and documented your goals?
8 - Do you encourage an open collaborative co-creative environment?
9 - Do you have trouble asking for help?
10 - Are you sure you know what each person on your team believes?
11 - Can you articulate to others what success looks like to you?
12 - Are you bringing and having fun?

Let's grab some snacks and hit the road!
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November 12, 2016

Lead by Doing Less

History was made this week with the results of the US Election and the topic of leadership is on everyone's mind around the world. If you're a regular or even occasional visitor here, you know I have a deep passion for leadership and have been working in the field of talent development for about two decades.

Can one person run a country? No.
Can one person run your company? No!

There is a ravenous appetite for information that seems to be more pronounced than in any other time in history. Information is travelling at the speed of light. Theories, news, priorities, ideas, deadlines, profits, voices, thoughts, it never seems to end but to borrow from the Bard, how much has any significance?

The problem we often face is we don't know what may be important until its emergency has passed. Everything is code red, all meetings deemed critical, every email needs a reply. Hurry up, this is important! I need to get to the next crucial deadline!

Busy is the new black

Here's a suggestion. Ask your team to cut every meeting next week by 50%. That one-hour meeting on Tuesday is now 30 minutes. If it doesn't have a stated reason, cancel it. Only those necessary should attend. And without clearly stating who does what by when, the meeting may be a complete waste of everyone's time.

A room full of people not paying attention while staring at their smartphones looking at email that might be important is not a collaborative exchange.

If we do less, perhaps we can accomplish more?
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November 8, 2016

Autumn Cleaning


I was doing some weeding; you know those times when you open a cupboard or closet or drawer and decide right then and there it is finally time to clear it out? I found a coffee mug and wrote about it here in the past but I think its worth looking at again.

It's a black mug I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago with an interesting message on the side written by Mary Ann Radmacher. The mug reads:

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard.
Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh.
Choose with no regrets. Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends. Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.

Sometimes weeding can give us great perspective.
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November 3, 2016

Ask and Clarify

To gain clarity, there are three questions you can ask yourself, your team members or anyone with whom you collaborate...

1. What do you stand for?
2. What will you not do?
3. Why do you do what you do?

This quick but powerful exercise can work for someone new to the workforce or a highly paid barrister. It can unearth the deep rooted needs of a member of the leadership team and the guy who runs the local garage. It's industry and job level agnostic.

Clutter makes us nervous and stressed. It can derail us from our goals. Clarity will help you find your baseline and silence some of that unnecessary noise. And what you stand for, what you will not do and why you do what you do, will remain.

Ask yourself the three questions and get clear.
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