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Supervising For Success

What do your team members think about your supervisors?

How are things on the leadership front?

So often highly effective technical workers are promoted to supervisor and then struggle. They don't know what to do. Why aren't their team members doing their jobs? Where's the motivation?

If any of these issues occur where you work, you might want to consider our two day workshop, "Supervising for Success." There's no shame in struggling as a supervisor, but there's no need for it, either. Take advantage of our forty plus years of leadership experience to develop supervisory skills in these key areas:


Leading challenging conversations - discover how to talk about what you need to talk aboutSetting goals quickly and developing a robust plan to achieve themCoaching and developing your team membersHow to solve performance problems and turn that poor performer into a motivated starHow to set priorities when everything feels like a top priorityCreate highly produc…
Recent posts

Energize with Priorities

Your team can't do it all. I know how it feels to leave something undone, it's not fun. The harsh reality though is that we cannot do everything and neither can your team.

That's why it is urgently important for you as a leader to let your team know what's most important. When you are clear about your absolute priorities, your team can focus on what matters most and finish the highest impact work.

It's a choice.

Energize your team around what's most important and then the unfinished unimportant tasks can be forgiven.

Let them know.

-- doug smith


Insist on Results

Do you insist on positive results?

Team members will struggle sometimes. As high performance leaders part of what we must do is to teach the people who need teaching. And guess who needs teaching? Everyone! Including us!

Every day, part of what leaders do is teach. Through intentional as well as spontaneous coaching, mentoring, prodding and motivating, our role is to help other people achieve their goals, and in so doing achieve our own.

We teach -- patiently, persistently, even unrelentingly. We teach -- and then we need more. We need progress, performance, and results.

Leaders are teachers who insist on results.

Remember to teach. Remember the output.

-- doug smith



Video: Key Points in Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

As a bonus, I finally learned how to pronounce this author's name. As a practical use of 8 minutes this is hard to beat - a great video with fascinating visuals and an easy to understand summary of a book that's not an easy read.

I'm sharing it so of course I can remember to watch it again later. It's also time to read the book again.

Here's the video:





Four Important Factors:

FocusFreedomFeedbackFour % Challenge It's well worth checking out the other quality material available at The Productivity Game.

Delegate for the Right Reasons

Do you delegate?

Many leaders struggle with delegation. Some don't delegate enough because they worry that the work will not be done to their satisfaction. That's a case for developing both the leader and the people the leader could delegate to. It can be overcome.

Some leaders struggle with delegation by only delegating work they'd NEVER do -- mundane, routine, or nasty tasks that the person getting the work doesn't want either, they simply have no choice. That is no way to endear yourself to your team.

We do need to delegate though. And sometimes the work that we delegate is routine but simply needs to be done. During the time that I worked there, my team leader at Whole Foods once told me, "we don't pay supervisors to wash the dishes." She did go on to say that handling the dishes for 15 minutes set a good example, but washing them the whole shift simply kept the supervisor from leading.

A more powerful form of delegation is done for developmental of …

Initiate the Tough Conversations

Do you avoid tough conversations? If we know that we need to talk something over, but avoid it because it makes us uneasy, the difficulty remains unresolved. If we avoid talking with someone because THEY are difficult to talk with (maybe they sulk, or yell, or roll their eyes...) the problem remains stuck AND it remains ours. That's not what leaders want.

Taking the time to learn how to better communicate in those tough situations helps leaders to reach their team members, assert their needs with their bosses, and collaborate more successfully with their peers. It's a win for everyone when communication prospers with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion.

It's not easy. That's what differentiates high performance leaders.

High performance leaders initiate the tough conversations that others avoid.

It gets easier with training and practice, just like any other skill. And while tough conversations may never feel like a breeze, they are often the path to better rel…

Goals In Service to Others

Are goals selfish? Is it self-centered to pursue your goals?

Our goals are important. Successful goal achievement brings positive results along with a healthy sense of self-accomplishment. It builds our esteem. Even when those goals are dedicated to outcomes that benefit others more than ourselves, in fact, perhaps more so.

Serving others as we achieve our goals builds good will, strong relationships, and more sustainable results. When others are happy, in addition to ourselves, the results are more likely to persist.

It is at once unselfish AND self-improving. It's a winning combination: creating and achieving goals that serve others.

We are best at achieving our goals when they are in service to others.

I'm in favor of the best results possible for all. How about you?

-- doug smith



Getting Help By Helping

Are you working hard on your goals? I hope so. Goals require attention, effort, and energy. And you know what else goals benefit from? Help. Specifically, help from other people.

And where do those people come from? They could be your team. They could be your peers. They probably START though with people you have helped before. When you help others to achieve their goals, they become remarkably more available to help you with yours.

When you help other people achieve their goals they become more powerful allies.

Whether you are working on goals that need help or not right now -- reach out to see who else you can help. Maybe they'll reciprocate and maybe they won't -- but there's nothing TO reciprocate unless you help first.

-- doug smith


Leadership Call to Action: Think about a friend or co-worker who is working on a project that you are not involved with. Sometime in the next week, call them and ask how you can help.


Five Keys to Happiness

We could spend the rest of our lives chasing happiness. There are books, seminars, retreats, and workshops galore to help us get there. I do not disparage any of that. Happiness is wonderful.

Is there a faster way?

Here is a consistent way. Yes, it does involve changing habits. None of the habits are too strenuous. It's balance. It's consistency. It's health. Here are five keys to happiness:


SleepExerciseEat healthy foodsDrink more waterSpend time in nature You knew all that already, didn't you? Consider this a gentle and happy reminder. Five keys to happiness. Sure, there are more. Work on as many as you like. These five will not let you down.
-- doug smith


When To Trust Your Feelings

Do feelings effect the way that you lead?

Feelings are part of who we are. The challenge is, how do we know when to trust our feelings? It's possible that our feelings are out of balance or even irrational given the circumstance. Our imaginations can fool us into feeling things that are of no value and are not necessary. Jealousy, envy, insecurity, paranoia -- while any of these feelings could sometimes be appropriate, they are very often inappropriate and even harmful to our well being.

But sometimes we have to trust our feelings, don't we?

Yes, and here is when. Trust your feelings when first feel centered, healthy, and rested. Trust your feeling when you can differentiate facts from feelings. Trust your feelings when you are willing to confirm facts and stay curious about contradictory facts.

Feelings are too important to ignore. They are also too powerful to let them rule. Find a balance. Sort through the total picture. Stay in charge.

How do you feel about that?

-- doug …

Video: How to create a culture of high productivity & low stress

From the Life Hack Bootcamp series featuring the cheerful and direct Demir & Carey comes this 13 minute video offering useful tips for creating teams that are productive and less stressed. You could call it Knowing When to Manage and When to Get Out of the Way. Good stuff!