Friday, July 21, 2017

Is Your Problem Feeding the Status Quo?

Have you noticed that even when you have a truly sensible solution to a problem that you can encounter resistance to change?

Why do some people resist making things better? Why wouldn't they want to solve that problem?

Most problems have someone or something invested in the status quo. It works for them. They're getting something out of it. Even when it's a problem for someone else -- until you identify the payoff to the status quo, solving it may prove to be difficult.

A great solution does more than solve the problem -- it does no harm.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, July 17, 2017

Maintain Flexibility Without Losing Focus

Have you ever seen someone who is so flexible that it's hard to know where they stand?

There have been times when I felt that way myself. It feels free, but then limits because it's so hard to make a decision. How do you choose? What's best?

I've since learned that it helps in making decisions to rely on a solid set of values, a strong sense of purpose, and a committed set of goals. Everything else, from projects to past times, falls in line with those three things. When you add your sense of faith to your values (or as one of your values) it becomes much easier to see when it's necessary to be flexible and when it's necessary to remain firm.

High performance leaders maintain flexibility without losing focus.  They know when to be flexible and when to be firm.

How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Is Stress A Choice?

How big of a deal is stress in your life?

We all endure a certain amount of stress. Depending on what's going on in your work and in your life, you may be going thru more stress than you want. Not all stress is bad (setting an ambitious goal, for example, adds a kind of good stress) but too much stress can slow you down.

How much of your stress are you choosing? Certainly, not all of your stress, but could you admit that some of it is the result of you doing too much worrying, or waiting too long to work on that big goal, or taking what the boss said too personally, or procrastinating when you knew the deadline was going to be tough?

You know as well as anyone else the answer to what to do about the stress you cause yourself: let it go. Stop it. Relax, breathe, focus, and then get to work.

When we do that, when we control the stress that we can control, when we choose "no" to a piece of self-selected stress, it makes handling the tough unchosen stress much, much easier.

Refusing to believe that stress is a choice won't get rid of your stress. Face it, deal with it, and when you can -- let it go.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Memorize Your Goals

Memorizing your goals will help you achieve them.

Too obvious to mention? Maybe. But what if you're working on some goals right now that you can't remember?

That makes it tough to get any traction, doesn't it? We all do it sometimes. It's another obstacle to achieving those goals that need not exist.

Memorize your goals. Those that you don't remember might not belong on your list.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Communicate With Intention

Communicating effectively is a skill AND a choice.

The skill takes practice and training. The choice takes intention based on values and character. We aren't born gifted communicators -- we develop or not.

How are you developing your communication skills?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, July 3, 2017

Elevate Your Project Teams

What do the people on your project teams get out of working on your project teams?

I'm not talking about money. I mean attention, growth, opportunity. Are you making your projects the coolest possible things your people could be working on? Do they look forward to each meeting, each task, each opportunity?

What are you offering your project teams that they can't get anywhere else?

When you find that and deliver, your teams will do whatever it takes to complete the project.

Isn't that what you want?

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Start Your Project Right

How do you begin a project?

Are your goals clear? Is the goal of the project an ART goal (action word, results, time)? Have you involved the right people?

Getting a project started correctly is critical to its success.

A slow start or a poor start or an uncertain start will hobble your project from the very, well, start.

Launch your project with enthusiasm by getting it started with these key components:

- An ART goal
- A group of people who are interested in the ART goal
- A real problem that your ART goal solves
- Focus, dedication, commitment

What else would you include?

-- Doug Smith

Bring our workshop "Project Management for Supervisors" to your location to get your projects started right.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Share Responsibility

Do you ever feel like you're doing it all?

There is no end to how much work is available for a front line supervisor. The temptation is to do everything you can to make sure that all the work gets done, even if you do it yourself. It doesn't have to be that way. Share the love. Share the work. Match meaningful work to people who will enjoy it. Delegate everyday.

Successful supervisors share responsibility.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Control Your Goals

I am constantly surprised by people who think they have no control over their goals.

Your goals are absolutely under your control. Even when they are commanded to you by others. Even when your organization tells you what they are. The choices (acceptance, focus, persuasion, new direction, change, execution, achievement) are all still up to you (and there are so many more choices than that⁄)

Hey you -- your goals are yours.

-- Doug Smith

Rinse and Repeat

Find goals that fit you then work them until you outgrow them.

Rinse and repeat.

-- Doug Smith

Do you want to get better and setting and achieving your goals? Our two day workshop "Supervising for Success" can help, and we can bring it to your location. Contact me for details.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Keep Trying

High performance leaders stick to it. They keep working. They find new possibilities.

The deepest confidence is rooted in perseverance. Don't give up.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

High Performance Leaders Stay Creative

Creativity is unlimited. I know that it can FEEL like you're out of ideas. It can FEEL like there's just no inspiration left to solve a problem, achieve a goal, or build a team. But ideas are limitless.

High performance leaders open themselves up. They expose themselves to new ideas in fields completely unrelated to their business, just to tease up some unusual combinations and connections. Do what you can to stay creative. Do everything you can to stay creative. You've never used up your last idea. There are always more.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, June 16, 2017

Achieving Your Goals: Resist Your Resistance

Goals require change. Big projects force us into areas of uncertainty. Growth can feel uncertain. Setting a noble, powerful goal is essential AND so is the work to bring it about. We will experience resistance to our most powerful goals and sometimes that resistance comes from within. Resist the resistance and power thru. The outcome depends on your work.

We might love the goal and still resist the changes that it requires. Recognize your resistance and let it go. It only stands in your way.

What goal are you working on today?

-- Doug Smith

How to achieve your goals is part of the two-day workshop Supervising for Success that you can bring to your location. Contact me today to see how in two days you can develop the clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion it takes to be your best possible leader.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Are You Waiting For?

Find the flaw and fix it.

It's what high performance leaders do.

-- Doug Smith

Bring our two-day workshop "Supervising for Success" to your location for just $149 per participant for organizations within 50 miles of Newtown, PA.

For more info: Supervising for Success

Contact me here:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How Does Your Feedback Feel?

Centered, high performance leaders carefully consider what their feedback feels like to others before delivering it.

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Friday, June 2, 2017

Get the Leadership Training You Need

doug smith training develops high performance leadership with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion.

It's tough on the front end, dealing with your team, your customers, and your bosses. Get the leadership training you need to navigate the choppy seas of supervising.

"Supervising for Success" is a two-day workshop that helps you to develop:

  • The keys to leadership success
  • Setting and achieving your supervisory goals
  • Communicating for results
  • Building your team
  • Motivating yourself and others
  • Time Management
  • Coaching for performance
  • Leading productive meetings
  • Solving problems
  • Leading ethically and effectively
  • Supervising multiple generations in the workplace
  • Prioritizing and handling multiple projects and goals
Contact me today about bringing "Supervising for Success" to your location.


Even a reluctant leader can become a better leader.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stay Open to Ideas

Why would any leader try to suppress a good idea?

It's because they don't think it IS a good idea, isn't it? Or maybe it's because they need all of the ideas to be THEIR ideas. Or maybe they are not thinking it thru.

There is no point to it. Holding a good idea down will likely strengthen its wings inviting it to fly somewhere else. Then, freed, it can't help you.

Open up to those wild ideas. Let your creative side prosper and teach your other sides to listen. Suppressing a good idea is only temporary control. Let go.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Some Thoughts On Goals

It's real once you set a goal for it.


The goals that matter shatter barriers.


If you let someone else tell you what your goals are, don't complain if they don't please you.


Achieving your goals is one of your top priorities.


It's not just a wish if you're working on it -- it's a goal to achieve.


Like it or not you may be remembered as a leader by how successful you were at achieving your goals.


We achieve our goals in order to achieve our mission.


When our goals energize us it's easier to energize others.

-- Doug Smith

What goal are you working on today?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Work On Yourself

"Set the kind of goals that will make something of you to achieve them."
-- Jim Rohn

Are you working on yourself today?  How about this week?

There are no days available to skip working on yourself. Learning is a lifetime and daily assignment.

What have you learned today?  That's my favorite question and I ask it several times a day because I do expect to learn MORE than one thing. There's so much to learn. So many goals to realize. It's time to get started, or if you're already in motion (good for you!) to keep going. Relentlessly.

Set big, noble, challenging goals. And then? Then get to work!

-- Doug Smith

Your Goals Are Yours

If you let someone else tell you what your goals are, don't complain if they don't please you.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Power of Great Goals

How much thought do you give to your goals?

Goals change. We change our goals, and then our goals change us. Recognizing the power behind our goals is important in using that power. Pick ambitious goals. Write noble goals. Work on goals that matter to you.

A great goal gives primary focus to all that you do.

Make it great.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Behind the Goal

A life changing goal requires a habit changing plan.

-- Doug Smith

Successful Supervisors Achieve Their Goals

If you'd like to increase and improve your possibilities as a supervisor I can help you with that. It's what I do.

If you and others at your organization would benefit from a two-day workshop on high performance leadership, please contact me about "Supervising for Success." It's over twenty years of leadership experience, tools, methods, and techniques distilled into my "greatest hits." I love delivering this program and I enjoy watching supervisors realize that they CAN get stuff done without ticking people off. Let me show you how.

Contact me here:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

High Performance Leaders Say What They Want

How clear are your expectations?

Does your team know exactly what you want for results?

Communicating for results means letting the results we want made well known.

High performance leaders say what they want.

How else will you ever get it?

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Stay Vital

Do you enjoy that feeling of being at the top of your game? I do. There's nothing quite like setting a noble and ambitious goal, working hard on the action plan, and then achieving it.

We are most vital in those moments of hard work leading to success. Goals set the target, the plan sets the pace, and the work gets it done.

We are most vital when we are achieving our goals. Why not get started?

-- Doug Smith

Successful Supervisors Achieve Their Goals

If you'd like to increase and improve your possibilities as a supervisor I can help you with that. It's what I do.

If you and others at your organization would benefit from a two-day workshop on high performance leadership, please do contact me about "Supervising for Success." It's over twenty years of leadership experience, tools, methods, and techniques distilled into my "greatest hits." I love delivering this program and I enjoy watching supervisors realize that they CAN get stuff done without ticking people off. Let me show you how.

Contact me here:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Resistance Is Feedback

Have you ever set a goal you thought was truly great, only to have it highly resisted when it came time for implementation?

People resist change. What's inside your head ("this will be so much BETTER!") is exactly that: inside your head. People need to see the value. People need to feel the benefits. If they aren't, it could be one of these two mistakes are happening:

1. NOT communicating the value and urgency of your goal, or
2. Setting a goal that HAS no value or urgency

I think you know how to fix whichever it is. Are you getting resistance? That's useful feedback. Fix what needs fixing and the goal will fly!

-- Doug Smith


Shameless Promotion Department

If you'd like to increase and improve your possibilities as a supervisor I can help you with that. It's what I do.

If you and others at your organization would benefit from a two-day workshop on high performance leadership, please do contact me about "Supervising for Success." It's over twenty years of leadership experience, tools, methods, and techniques distilled into my "greatest hits." I love delivering this program and I enjoy watching supervisors realize that they CAN get stuff done without ticking people off. Let me show you how.

Contact me here:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Elevate Your Performance

The picture on this humble little meme is an old one of my dear friends and working partners June and Victor Podagrosi. We were on a Child's Play tour, somewhere in Virginia. Beautiful country, beautiful and talented people. This image is a constant reminder to me of how alive, vital, energized, and productive people can be when they elevate their performance. In our performances for children around the country, both Victor and June demonstrated what constant work, deep involvement, and dedication to a mission can bring.

It inspired me then and it inspires me now.

How can you elevate your performance today?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Unfiltered Feedback

Every leader needs feedback from someone who will tell the truth no matter what.

Who is that someone for you?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Even High Performance Leaders Follow

Are you a great follower?

High performance leaders know the value of a useful, enthusiastic follower. That's not someone who follows regardless of the merit of the mission or the value of the goal. Those traits matter. But when they are in place and without doubt, the mission and the goal should propel us forward -- as leaders and, when the situation calls for it, as followers.

We don't all lead at the same time. Sometimes even high performance leaders must follow.

What are you following today?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, April 24, 2017

Work Your Coolest Goal

Are you giving your goals all the help they need?

Identify your biggest, best, coolest goal. Now, work that today...

-- Doug Smith

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Satisfying Noble Goals

Have you thought about how important your goals are today?

We write them, we save them, and sometimes we work on them. What if we saw how vitally important our goals really are? What if we acted relentlessly on our plan to achieve them?

This could help: make your goals noble. Strive to accomplish something so big that the world is a better place and you are a better person.

What could be more satisfying that improving health, establishing peace, and encouraging love by achieving your goals.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, March 13, 2017

Develop Your People

You can't build a great team without developing your people.

Find them the right projects. Get them sufficient training. Coach them everyday.

What is a high performance leaders most important job? Developing your people!

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, March 11, 2017

How to bring fast, affordable leadership training to your location

Supervising for Success
Developing your front line leadership skills

Two things happen when you are promoted to supervisor. First, you lose your team's best technical performer (because that was you!) and second, you are thrust into a job that requires a completely new set of skills. 

Working side-by-side and setting a great example with customers is a good place to start, but supervisors and managers need so much more. In this in-person workshop you will explore, discover, and practice these key leadership skills:

  • Develop leadership capacity, strength and flexibility
  • Set and achieve your supervisory goals
  • Handle critical conversations confidently
  • Build collaborative, cohesive, results-based teams
  • Develop more motivation in yourself, your team members, and your colleagues
  • Delegate work that develops your team
  • Improve productivity
  • Coach to improve performance
  • Facilitate highly productive meetings
  • Solve team problems collaboratively
  • Practice preventing and responding to your most common supervisory challenges
  • Plan, align, and prioritize your work to optimize your results

What to ExpectYou’ll take advantage of your natural gifts and strengths while developing the ability to grow and utilize the other essential leadership skills.

Who Should Attend

Supervisors, front line leaders, and team members preparing to move into leadership. 

Length of Program 

One day accelerated overview, or
Two-day intensive with more practice developing the skills you need most.

For more information on how to bring this workshop to your location, please contact me:

Move Ahead

The right goal needs no justification.

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Motivate Your Goals

Find encouragement for your goals but don't wait for it to find you.

You're in charge of your own motivation.

-- Doug Smith

Teleclass Special: 30 minutes / $30

30 minutes / $30 Limited Time Special

Focused, fast teleclasses that focus on skills, processes, and tools you can put to use immediately. Listen anywhere you have a phone. Share your connection if you like. Take notes and participate in the lively conversation. Set a goal for the leadership skill you're working on and ask follow-up questions on the call, at our blog, or during a follow-up coaching call.

You can also schedule a teleclass for your group or yourself or attend one that's already on our public schedule. 30/30 Teleclasses help you get the training you need, at a price that you can afford. No travel, no trouble, no technological meltdowns. Just no-nonsense training over your telephone.

Here is a sampling of the teleclasses available for your fast, affordable training:

Ten Keys to Leadership Success

Explore ten key ways to quickly improve your leadership performance. But it's more than a list. You'll also hear how to implement these keys in your leadership role. Perfect for new leaders and people who have recently been promoted to leadership (or expect to be soon!) And, even if you're NOT a new leader, it's never too late to get yourself on track for truly high performance leadership.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Discover a five-step process for achieving your leadership goals. In thirty fast minutes you'll be on your way to setting and achieving high performance goals. The hand-out is filled with information and activities that will direct you toward a faster, much more fun path toward achieving your goals.

CLUES to Communication Success

Effective communication is at the heart of high performance leadership. In this fast-paced teleclass you'll explore five keys to creating deeper conversations, more productive meetings, and more powerful presentations.

What if your whole team improved their communication skills? Wouldn't that improve your results and make your workplace friendlier and more engaged? Why not invite your whole team to attend this key teleclass. The content in this is so vital, so invigorating, and so useful that I include it in many of my in-person workshops because once you've mastered this, all of the other tasks of leadership get much easier.

How to Be a Better Boss

High performance leaders understand and develop five core strengths. Discover how you can make the most of your core strengths and find better balance as a leader.

Speak and act with courage.
Connect and express with creativity.
Analyze and improve clarity.
Seek and share compassion.

See what these core leadership strengths have in common with four typical personality styles and how you can make the most of where you are already strong without letting it get in the way of your leadership for others. We could spend two DAYS on this -- you'll get a grip on it in 30 minutes.

How to Motivate Your Team

Do you ever struggle with people on your team who don't feel as motivated as you need them to be? It's not a lost cause - there are things that you as a leader can do to spark more motivation and develop a key sense of identify and belonging in your team that will deliver better results and retain your best team members.

Motivate your poor performers. Motivate your superstars. Motivate your team. Listen in and find out how.

Delegating With Confidence

High performance leaders get great amounts of results through other people. But, how do you delegate when it seems so hard? How do you develop the skill and confidence it take to delegate effectively? It's not magic, yet it is critically important.

Delegate to reluctant team members. Delegate to peers (I call it "shared work"). Even delegate to your boss (surprised? she may love it!)

Find out how to delegate painlessly and with confidence.

Improving Performance Now!

You've got important leadership goals. As a team, you represented a collection of resources, training, feedback, communication, motivation, and more. How do you plan, staff, and resource your team so that improved performance is not only possible, but inevitable? Explore what I call the Development Engine and bring your team what it needs to do its best.

Time Management Now!

This started out as a two-day time management seminar and people kept telling me "do it faster, we don't have time!" So it became a one-day time management workshop and guess what people said? "Do it faster, we don't have time!". Well, do you have a half-hour to dramatically improve your time management skills? Keep a pen and paper close by, because you won't want to miss a minute of this!

Solving Leadership Problems

What keeps you awake at night? I used to hate that question because the list was long! Performance problems, people problems, process problems, what's a supervisor to do?  Find out here. See how the simple tool of MindMapping can be used to analyze the root cause of a problem and deploy your top five core leadership strengths in solving that problem, once and for all!

Managing Multiple Priorities

Does it seem like everything is due at once? Is your work area a little piece of chaos? Do you feel like you are over-whelmed? Find out how to create the positive force of alignment in your work that will help you get more done, and the important work first.

The work is waiting for you. Why not discover how to prioritize in ways that makes your life easier and your boss happier?

What Do You Say?

Learning is my life, and I've noticed that many people learn great audibly. Put those ears to work and shorten your learning curve to a manageable, pain-free alternative. Less trouble, less time, less money. Just great learning. You might even still have time for lunch!

Doug contemplates a shiny object while multitasking on the phone.

Take Ten

Take any ten different teleclasses from us and earn our High Performance Leadership Teleclass Certificate of Achievement. Suitable for framing, it'll look great on your wall!

Teleclass Advantages

Go for it. Listen while you do what you need to do. Jump in when you have a question or key point when feel like sharing. We're not here to judge. We're here to provide fast, affordable leadership training.

Worn out by webinars? 
Listen, I love webinars and attend them all the time.  I also teach using webinars and use all the tools. But seriously, sometimes don't you feel like the electronic tools get in the way? Are you ever frustrated by all of the technology involved? What if you JUST WANT TO LEARN THE LEADERSHIP SKILL YOU NEED THIS WEEK? Take the trouble out of the training and learn in a way many people learn best: audibly and by taking notes.

Cheaper for you, cheaper for me. 
Webinar platforms cost bucks. Do you want to pay for that, or do you want fast, affordable training you'll put to use the same day you cover it? That's what I thought!

What about the visuals?
I get it. All of us who are blessed with sight learn visually. It's an important part of our portfolio of tools. And when we need the visuals, I'll point you to a place to find them. Prepare ahead of the teleclass by downloading any relevant visual materials. Print them out if you want. They make a great  place to take notes -- and they're free with the teleclass.

Want to Share?
Absolutely. We learn faster when we collaborate on our learn. So, invite a friend. Invite a whole room full of friends and associates -- there's no extra price. It's the same price per connection no matter how many people you invite.

What if My Friends Are In Different Locations?
You still can't beat the price: $30 per connection.

How to Optimize Your Teleclass Experience

  • Show up, ready to go, on time.
  • Keep a notebook and be ready to take copious notes.
  • Invite a friend (or more, hey even a whole conference room full if you like) to share your learning and to partner on the optional post-call learning activities.
  • Submit your most compelling questions about the topic before the teleclass. We'll make sure to answer your questions!
  • Download and use the free learner's guide that comes with many of our teleclasses. 
30 minutes / $30 Limited Time Special. Prices subject to change and availability.

To schedule a teleclass, please contact me at:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Build Your Best You

To build your best team you must also build the best you.

Your team members will notice.

They will notice when you attend training. They will notice when you invite feedback. They will notice when you take on challenging projects that force you to grow. They will notice and they will emulate.

What are you doing today that your team members will notice?

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Schedule the Training You Need

Great training is no accident.

-- Doug Smith


Imagine goals so strong that they outlive you.

Imagine goals so strong that they change you.

Imagine goals so strong that they are irresistible.

Now -- set a plan and get going!

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, March 2, 2017


What's the one thing that leaders could do more of?


When it comes to managing projects, achieving your goals, and solving problems it is almost impossible to over-communicate. We tend to communicate less than we need when the stakes are the highest.

I work to remind myself constantly to communicate more robustly, more clearly, more creatively. To communicate with more courage and compassion. To communicate using a variety of ways (not just another email!) To constantly communicate.

How about you?

You probably aren't over-communicating.

High performance leaders over-communicate.

Not annoying missives. Not repetitive propaganda. Clear, concise, vision-focused communication delivered in a variety of ways:

- email (yes, sometimes)
- face to face (the strongest energy field for success)
- telephone (remember that?)
- voice mail
- posters
- videos
- presentations
- through intermediaries and spokespersons
- through endorsements
- advertising
- announcements

...You get the idea.

What's your most important message right now? How can you communicate that in more ways to the people who need that message the most?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Even High Performance Leaders Need Training

Can you spot a leader who needs more training?

As a trainer of course, my answer (somewhat biased!) is easy: look at any leader - they all need more training.

And in a way, all leaders do need more training. We all must continually learn. The learning never stops.

But you and I both know that there are some leaders who need training more than others. Whether they are struggling with the basics of supervising (which, it turns out, are not so basic after all) or with the vagaries of higher level strategy, their struggles point out a need for training. It is especially evident when a leader struggles in one of two key areas: results, and relationships.

As a leader it is easy to forget how intertwined these two areas are. Mess up the relationships, and the results will suffer. Miss on the results and the relationships may never have time to develop.

Leaders must work on, learn about, and train how to excel at developing both relationships and results.

Who do you know who needs more leadership training?

Could it be you?

I know I'm not done with my training. How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, February 27, 2017

Focus On Your Goals

If you take your goals for granted, so will everyone else.

Keep your focus on your goals! They won't get done without you!

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Keep Your Goals Aligned With Your Mission

Goals that are aligned with your mission should not cause you stress.

They don't cause you stress because they are compelling, important, vital, and necessary.

If you do feel stress, think of that as eustress, or positive stress. It's the boost of energy to complete the task. It's the electric anticipation of a job well done and success.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, February 24, 2017

Development Exercise: 5 by Noon

Development Exercise: 

Write 5 goals for the day and achieve them all by noon.

If it's past noon now, do it tomorrow. See how it makes you feel. Then, in the wise words of the shampoo bottle: rinse and repeat.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, February 23, 2017

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

Propel Yourself

High performance leaders pick goals that propel them to the next level.

What's your next level? What's your next goal? Match the two and you're well on your way.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Don't Tolerate Unproductive Meetings

Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought "well, here's an hour (or two) of my life I'll never get back...?"

Most people have. We get stuck in unproductive meetings. We find ourselves wondering why they couldn't just have sent an email. Or we wonder why they had a meeting at all, since nothing is getting done.

Bad meetings result in the single biggest waste of time in organizational life.

In my workshops I tell people that "you are hereby empowered. You no longer need sit thru an unproductive meeting ever again. If you have the courage."

If you have the courage to lead from the back of the room. If you have the courage to lead from any chair. If you have the courage to grab that moment of unproductive noise and make a suggestion. Make a recommendation. Redirect the group. You probably know already that you are not the only person in the room who feels the meeting slipping away. Redirect it.

Risky? Sure. You might need to build some relationships in the room first in order to do it. You do not necessarily want to do this the first time people meet you. But, to sit thru endless and countless nonproductive meetings is a very special kind of masochistic, and that's probably not for you.

High performance leaders do not tolerate unproductive meetings.

Stand up. Raise your hand. Raise your voice. Do what it takes to take charge and redirect that opportunity. The people in the room will thank you.

-- Doug Smith

Are you looking for ways to make your own meetings more productive? Please contact me about bringing a workshop or webinar to your organization.

Contact me here:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Embrace Accountability

We might not like the part of coaching that holds us accountable but we sure do need it.

Embrace accountability, even when it hurts.

-- Doug Smith

Friday, January 20, 2017

Take Time To Reflect

The best supervisors take time to reflect on the impact of their actions and the validity of their beliefs.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, January 19, 2017

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

Get Stuff Done

The best way to stop a task from causing stress is to finish it.

-- Doug Smith

Start With Values

It's much easier to agree on our goals when we share our most important values.

-- Doug Smith

Find the Passion In Your Goals

Have you ever had more goals than you can handle?

Faster, better, smarter! The world puts pressure on us to set and achieve far more goals than we ever have before. Maybe it's too much. It certainly feels that way sometimes.

Here's fuel for your efforts: passion. Set goals you not just care about, but can't live without. Set and work on goals that matter to you, to your team, to the world. Warm the world with the passion around your goals. Then, no matter how hard, no matter how long it takes, the effort will fill you with rewards.

Passion is a fabulous fuel for goals. Don't fake it -- find it!

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Embrace the Paradox

How solid is your plan?

I firmly believe that in order to achieve your goals you must design a creative, assertive plan and then act relentlessly on that plan. Don't give up. Dig in. Fly. Push. Do those action steps and keep plugging away.

Here's the paradox. As you're plugging away you must also be ready to dance - ready to pivot, ready to change. Every great plan includes some degree of flexibility. As soon as your plan is in motion, something will change that will necessitate change in your plan. That's OK. Go with it.

Stay relentless on your plan, AND stay flexible. It's the love of the paradox that will bring a smile to your face. High performance leaders are centered and flexible. We cannot break with every change, we must simply bend and then snap forward. On target, on purpose, on the rise.

Every plan needs some flexibility. Are you at peace with that?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, January 2, 2017

Get The Help You Need to Achieve Your Goals

What is the next step after you've set a meaningful goal?

You need a plan, of course. And, you'll need to relentlessly follow that plan. You'll also need a team of helpers. People who will propel you forward. Someone who will hold you accountable. Someone who can see what you miss and give you feedback on moves that you make.

It might even be the kind of goal that leads to a vital, energized project team. 

Who will be your team? Who will be your helpers?

Why go it alone?

Anyone can help you set goals. Who do you have to help you achieve them?

-- Doug Smith

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Share Responsibility for Success Now

Who is success up to?

It's fashionable to say it's up to you. After all, you ARE in charge of your own fate, right? And all it takes is a positive attitude, true?

Well, maybe more than that. Yes, a positive attitude is far preferable and much more enabling than a negative attitude. But it is not enough. You need to do the work...AND, more importantly, your team needs to do the work.

Leaders who contribute to their team's success are doing them a great service. Yay. Leaders who try to do it all do both themselves and their teams a disservice. It takes both. In communication, in project work, in achieving your goals.

Share responsibility for success. Step up when you're needed, and step back when you want to encourage  someone else to take charge. Allow people to own their own responsibility. Enable people to act, and then get out of their way.

Successful supervisors share responsibility for success.

What can you take charge of today? What can you let go of?

-- Doug Smith