Prior to Sunday I had been hopeful that the Super Bowl would be a competitive event that would be engaging to watch. And WOW! it did not disappoint. New England’s come from behind victory left me speechless. And while people will be talking about all angles of their victory for months (and years), I quickly saw three key leadership principles applicable to anyone responsible for leading a team. They were:
I recently heard an insightful presentation about the dangers of being alone at work. The research about workplace loneliness suggests that it’s much more than an individual struggle. According to one study, feeling alone at work can lead to weaker productivity, motivation, and performance. Not what you want from any team member.
When will you say it? Will it be when you find yourself furiously shopping for gifts two days before you plan to give them? Maybe the words will come when you haven't gotten anything done at work for the past week. Perhaps your defining moment will come as you recognize that in all the giving to others during the holiday you have taken zero time for yourself. You know the words I mean... "Next year things are going to be different!"
Listen to almost anyone who is stressed out by all they have going on, and you will soon hear something like, "I just need to find better work life balance." While it's been a common phrase for years, we are now recognizing that it is both an unattainable and undesirable condition. A couple of reasons include:
If I were to ask you about your best technique to wisely manage your time, you would probably share a routine you follow at work or home. You might start listing tactics like "Do the hardest task early in the day," or "Only check emails three times a day." I'd be willing to wager you wouldn't say, "I manage my emotions well."
The philosophy of good enough is the idea that there are some tasks and activities that don’t have to be perfectly done. The benefit is that you don’t spend as much time on the less important, making more time available for those tasks and activities that can best move your work and life forward.
While I know you might find exceptions to my list, here are three places I think we need to settle for good enough more often.
When it comes to change a popular phrase in many organizations is the need to "drive change." It sounds like such a plausible idea, until you stop and think about the mindset it can possibly create within the people in the organization. If you are in management, the chance to drive change sounds appealing and almost powerful. If you are NOT in such a position, you may feel like a cattle drive is about to begin as you are driven to a place you may or may not want to go.
The Vernal Equinox occurring in the US and Canada on Sunday March 20 marks the official start of spring. As one who loves to see things grow, this time of year holds tremendous promise as I start my garden, nurture existing plants, and tackle the ever-present weeds that have been growing for some time.
I've written in the past how successful leaders need to be gardeners. With that in mind, what might you do differently in your work if you looked at March 20 as marking a period of renewal and growth for you and your team? Some actions might include:
If you visit Amazon.com and type “leadership books” in the search box, you will get over 226,000 results. If you read a book a week, it would take you approximately 4346 years to read all of them. And more coffee than I can imagine. Yet you know the benefit of that “aha moment” when you find just the idea, thought, or strategy that gives you greater clarity and confidence as a leader.
Over 700 years ago, Francesco Petrarch wrote in Life of Solitude,
It is without question the nature of the mind that when it is earnestly applied to one interest it must neglect many others.
While staying focused might have been difficult then, it's harder then ever today. With technology, open office environments, and task lists a mile long, is it any wonder we can't seem to focus for more than a few minutes?
It's been less than a month since you returned to work from your holiday break. You're filled with a renewed sense of purpose and determination about accomplishing all the right things this year. How's that working for you? If you're like most people (including me), reality has begun to set in, old habits are dragging you down, and you're already feeling overwhelmed.
It has become all too common to hear people discuss a workplace issue, productivity challenge, or networking need, and quickly say, "There's an app for that."
While technology offers extraordinary opportunities for improvements in workplace productivity, choosing the right application or service is critical to fully leveraging the benefit of it.
Just a couple of years ago, it seemed that most people were more concerned with keeping their job due to the economic downturn and budget cuts. With an improved economy (in most sectors) and employees sensing greater opportunity for advancement, a more intense level of competition is present in today's workplace.
As parents in the workplace, there is a collective sigh as school buses roll and summer becomes a distant memory. While the past couple of months have had moments of high intensity preparing for vacations, family activities, and arranging child care, the constant pace of school was absent. With August here, the tsunami of lunch prep, homework, school events, and extracurricular activities is ready to crash into your already overloaded work schedule. Feeling sleep deprived yet?
Building and maintaining a highly engaged, cohesive team is difficult under the best of conditions. Doing it with four generations in the workplace, a constant need for innovation, and a desire by all employees for greater work/life satisfaction can make it seem impossible!
If you’re looking for a quick way to determine how your time as a leader or manager could be better spent to build a more effective team, ask these seven questions from time to time:
When I introduce Senge’s quote during a leadership discussion, there is always a collective nod of affirmation from those in the room. For too long the business world looked to leaders to simply diagnose problems and fix them. If the problem didn’t get fixed, organizations would find another “mechanic” with seemingly better skills. This was true not only for entire companies, but also for smaller departments and work groups.