Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Building Your Team: When Are You Done?

When is your team building job as a leader finished?

If your answer is "never" I'd have to agree. Teams are in constant change.  As leaders we must constantly challenge team members and help them grow -- both individually AND as part of the team. That takes some attention away from the day-to-day tasks that consume our time, but it is as important as anything else we do as leaders.

Team building is never done.

What will you do to build your team today?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Follow Thru

What's your most challenging project or goal issue?

For me it is following up. I enjoy initiating ideas, forming plans, and even executing key tasks. What I need to focus more on is following up.

To assume that people will stay on task or remember exactly what I've requested (or offered) is risky for a leader. People may be doing the best that they can, but often that means that they aren't doing everything we'd expected.

That's no reason to get angry. That's no reason to feel disappointed. But it is a reason to follow-up.

I resolve to check in more frequently on a plan, to pay closer attention to details, to assume nothing.

My plan for getting thru those problems that are the most persistent?

Set the right goals, design a strong plan, and then follow-thru, follow-thru, follow-thru.

How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, February 20, 2017

High Performance Leaders Develop Their People

Even the best leaders can't solve everybody's problems. Strong leaders develop their team's problem solving skills.

Training, practice, projects: three ways that high performance leaders develop their people.

How are you developing your people this week?

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Building Your Team: Be The Leader They Need

Are you the leader your team is looking for?

Do you know what they're looking for?

Does that matter.

I think it does matter. To mobilize your team, to energize your team, to be the high performance leader you want to be who gets things done you need to be the leader that your team is looking for.

Strong, yet gentle. Supportive, yet challenging. Participative, yet directional. Not all things to all people, but the right things for the right people. The right things for your team.

And, if you don't know for sure what those things are, take the time to ask your team.  They will tell you.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rally More Support

We may need to rally support to find the help we need for solving problems.

When it doesn't look as urgent to someone else, when it seems too hard for someone else, when the compelling reason for solving it isn't obvious to someone else, we need to ramp up our influence.

That's not always fun, just necessary.

Who is ignoring your biggest problem today? How can you rally more support from them?

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Empowerment is powerfully motivating.

People will do more when given the freedom to do it. And freedom to do it usually means freedom to do it their way.

Let go of control, and watch your influence grow.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What We Forget to Delegate

What do you forget to delegate?

It's important. What we forget to delegate we get to keep doing, and to keep too busy to get everything done. If you feel frenzied, if you feel overwhelmed, it could be that you are missing opportunities to delegate.

Do you know what we don't even think about delegating and so we forget about it?  We forget to delegate the things that we enjoy the most.

We don't even consider sharing what we enjoy the most because, well, we enjoy it. We crave it. We hold onto it. But what comes so naturally to us that we don't even need to think about it could be a motivating learning opportunity for someone else on our team.

I can still remember when my boss at Aon started sharing his favorite tasks with me. They were so easy for him that he do them in his sleep. Since they were new to me I had to give it thought. In the process, I developed new skills and he freed up vast amounts of time to work on things more strategic.

Delegate tasks you enjoy and you'll make room for growth.  

-- Doug Smith