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Showing posts from February, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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 enj

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

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 relations

Define Carefully

How we define success will largely determine whether or not we achieve it. -- Doug Smith

Career Goals?

Creating a successful career is easier once you start achieving your goals. -- Doug Smith