Two key components of successful teams are for individuals to "own" their responsibilities and deliver their work outcomes in a timely and effective way. And it's the job of the leader or manager to make sure these things happen. With heavy workloads, frequent distractions, and sometimes unclear organizational goals, however, leaders can neglect this important role. They naively hope that their team members will simply "do the right thing."Read More
Yes, I meant to type "inciteful" and not "insightful." A recent blog by Seth Godin has completely changed my attitude about how I look at what I might read. One of the questions I now ask about a "good book" someone mentions to me is, "How did you change behavior as a result of reading the book?"Read More
While on vacation you stop in a local restaurant for breakfast. You’re adventurous so you didn’t check the Yelp ratings before choosing this one. Seated near the kitchen, you have a birds-eye view of all the action. Cooks are working furiously to keep up with all the orders thrown at them, dropping dishes or utensils from time to time, and occasionally getting yelled at by the wait staff or manager for how long it’s taking to fill an order. The menu is extremely limited because the cooks have only basic ingredients and haven’t been trained to do anything except the quick stuff. Those apples and breakfast bars back at your hotel room are looking better all the time, aren’t they?Read More
Whether you are an associate manager or a senior executive, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your full strategic leadership potential.Read More
Have you thought (or said) any of these statements in the past 30 days?
- I thought we had that problem handled.
- When will I have time to focus on what I need to get done?
- I should have seen this coming.
- All people ever bring me are problems.
If you said yes...Read More
If you live in the US, you'll probably hear the words "Thank You" a little more often this week. As Thanksgiving approaches, we tend to recognize the blessings of family and friends a little more and that causes us to think and act differently toward others.
Hopefully. that same sense of gratitude will permeate thoughts about our jobs and those with whom we work.Read More
Where do you think you have more impact as a leader or manager? Is it in the formal, planned interactions like team meetings or performance reviews? Or is it in the casual conversation that started with the question, "Have you got a minute?"
My experience with coaching leaders and managers is...Read More
What are some of your "trigger words" or phrases? You know what I'm talking about. Those words used by others that ignite strong negative emotion as you hear them leave the other person's lips. For me it's phrases like "this sucks" or the frequent use of profanity.
While not as emotionally irksome as trigger words, I do think there are words we use as leadersRead More
While at a reception at a recent association conference, an attendee found me in the crowd and said, "I am so looking forward to your talk about change tomorrow!" When I inquired as to why, he said, "I want to know how to get people to take action. They always say they agree with the change, but they just won't start doing things differently."Read More
I had a most refreshing moment with a team of people a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing the upcoming solar eclipse, and John, (not actual name), immediately brightened and started sharing way more than I expected about the history of such eclipses. He even said he would be traveling to South Carolina to stand on the very spot where a famous (to him) astronomer stood during an eclipse in 1903. The rest of his team joked with him about his “nerdiness,” but you could tell...Read More
You’re watching the train wreck unfold right in front of you. It might be your boss who has so much on their plate, and they are rarely communicating with you or the team. It might be a coworker who is drowning in deadlines or feeling overwhelmed with a new assignment. Having been in this situation yourself, you know the dangers of not taking action, but you struggle with how to have a helpful conversation.
You couldRead More
According to Merriam-Webster, some of the primary definitions of indifferent are: Marked by impartiality, does not matter one way or another, or no special liking or disliking of something. Continue reading the list, and you’ll also find other definitions like, being neither excessive nor inadequate, or being neither good nor bad.
Indifference and leadership are two words rarely found together,Read More
I recently spent a whole weekend learning how to be a better listener. Well… that wasn’t the only thing I did for three days, but it was a major focus of the training experience. While I have always considered myself a “good listener,” I now realize how much I have, at times, been missing in conversations.
The experience also reminded me...Read More
Perfectionism wreaks so much havoc in our lives. At work we fail to take action on an issue or challenge because none of the solutions offered are without some negative consequence. We resist learning a new skill because we aren’t “good at it” the first time, or worse yet, we’re afraid to show our mistakes to others.Read More
I must say I'm not proud of this picture of one spot in my vegetable garden. One of the new favorite leafy vegetables for my family is swiss chard and those are the plants with the reddish-purple veins you see in the photo. In my part of the world they grow best in spring and early summer so we need to maximize their growth before the heat (and insects) overpower them.Read More
This week I am exhibiting at the Association For Talent Development (ATD) Conference and Expo in Atlanta Georgia. Over 8000 learning and talent development leaders from around the world will be here. I absolutely love this opportunity to reconnect with past clients, make new connections, and just have some really memorable conversations about how to grow the talent within an organization.Read More
At many of the conferences or corporate meetings where I am asked to speak, there is almost always someone talking about innovation. I hear things like “We need to develop more customer-centric ways of doing business” or “Leverage technology to increase speed to execution,” or one of my personal favorites, “Increase collaboration across the enterprise.”Read More
Merriam Webster defines control as "To exercise directing or restraining influence over." And while I'd like to think I am not a "control freak," I must confess there are times I am THAT type of person. I expend an enormous amount of energy trying to bend and shape every situation to align with my desired result. As you know, that is exhausting, frustrating, and rarely leads to the best outcomes!Read More
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:Read More