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
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
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
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. Share
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
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
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
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?