Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Stay Curious!

Disagreement is easy. Criticism is easy. Curiosity takes more initiative and courage and it brings about better understanding, openness and increases your chances of reaching agreement.

Stay curious!

How do you stay curious? Ask questions. Pause. Listen.

Listen to understand, not to debate. Remember when you were ten years old and you were filled with questions? When was the last time that you were truly open to possibilities? When was the last time that you stayed curious when your inner judge wanted to evaluate?

Stay curious!

Imagine what you can learn, just by staying open. The possibilities are limitless -- as long as we don't limit them.

Stay curious!

-- Doug Smith


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Improving Performance: Four Keys

Who needs to improve their performance? Everyone! Of course!

How do we improve performance? We improve performance in hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways, and yet these four ways are critical:

Knowledge: knowing what to do.
Practice: working at repeating the desired behaviors and actions.
Feedback: staying open to and using observations about our performance.
Discipline: relentlessly following the path to success, even when it's hard.

Better performance comes from knowledge, practice, feedback, and discipline.

For you, for your team members, for anyone interested in improving performance.

And then, as it says on the shampoo bottle, rinse and repeat. Performance improvement never ends.

-- Doug Smith


Growth Never Ends

High performance leaders develop even their best team members into better team members. Growth never ends.

-- Doug Smith


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Set the Right Goal

Setting the right goal frees us of a thousand excuses.

There's no need to dance around the reasons you have not achieved your goal when your goal truly matters. It does not guarantee that you are done, or will be done. What it does guarantee is that you won't resent the effort. And, in todays busy world, why not focus on what you care deeply about. Why not set the right goal?

-- Doug Smith


Building Your Team: Shared Leadership Gets More Done

Who is in charge of your team?

Of every little detail?

The best way to build your team members is to put each one in charge of something. Give them as much as they can handle (and then a little more.) Trust them. Build them. Develop them. Challenge them.

An early mistake I made as a supervisor was to try to be the answer man. People would line up to my cubicle to get answers to my questions. And most of the time I had great answers. But you know what? Their own answers, I learned, were far better. Better because they had a rich amount of experience to draw from. Better because they could then own the solution. And better because it freed me up to do other things. To be more strategic and to spend more time with team members on their development, not their supervision.

The better you supervise, the less you'll need to supervise. 

And the more leadership that you share, the less your team will rely on you for answers.

Take charge AND allow your team members to lead. Shared leadership gets more done.

-- Doug Smith



Friday, January 6, 2017