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Creativity We Breathe for Everyone


The creative life shakes hands with your better self, your happy self, your complete yet untapped potential self - a quick and colorful and powerful entity of sensational art. Living, walking, breathing creativity in the moment, in all moments, for ourselves, and for everyone.

-- doug smith


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Keep Asking Questions

One of my mentors, Lester T. Shapiro, taught me that the primary role of a leader is to ask relevant questions. If we get that right, leadership becomes much more influence and much less pushing an agenda. Stay curious, keep learning, and keep asking questions.

And when the questions lead you to a conclusion, maybe remember this:

Every conclusion contains many more questions.

Keep asking.

-- doug smith


Video: 20 Quick Time Management Tips

High performance leaders must take care of their time. Here's a quick video with 20 quick time management tips.


Since the video does go quickly, here are the 20 tips:
Create a daily planPeg a time limit for each taskUse your calendarUse an organizerKnow your deadlineLearn to say "no"Target to be earlyTime box your activitiesHave a clock visibly placed before youSet reminders 15 minutes beforeFocusBlock out distractionsTrack your time spentDon't fuss about unimportant detailsPrioritizeDelegateBatch similar tasks togetherEliminate your time wastersCut off when you need toLeave bugger time in between Video Source:

Stay Willing to Solve That Problem

Leaders don't usually ask for the problems they are confronted with, and yet there they are. Busy lives lead to a kind of numbing busyness that can detract focus from what is most important. For front line leaders, what is most important is solving problems and achieving goals.

Avoiding problems keeps them growing. To solve a problem we must first be willing. That takes time. Time to stop, breathe, and analyze the problem. Time to gather the will and resources need to first convert that negative problem into a positive goal and then to get busy solving it.

Solving a problem is mostly showing willingness to solve the problem. Are you willing?


-- doug smith


Call to Action:
Write down three problems you've been avoidingCircle the one that troubles you the mostConvert that problem into a goal: what do you want instead of that problem?Get started solving it For more help in a process for solving problems:
Follow the links in the Leadership Toolbox on Solving ProblemsAttend (you can …

Room to Grow

I suppose that if a problem is easy to solve that it isn't even a problem. Just solve it and be done with it. A problem like that is more like a decision than a problem.

We all have bigger problems than that, though. We all struggle at times to solve what feels like an unsolvable problems. Some problems truly can't be solved, and must then be managed. How can we tell the difference?

We need to ponder the possibilities. We need to change the problem into a goal and figure out how to bring that about. The difficulty is like a framework for building something we haven't thought of before. The problem stands there, a form waiting to redirect our notions of what is possible.

Tough or not, solvable or not, a problem creates a space for traction.

A problem you can't solve is give you room to grow.

Grow.

-- doug smith

Leadership Call to Action Create a list of three problems you have not been able to solve.

Next to each problem, write the one leadership skill or strength that…

Free Training Needs Analysis

Do you have leadership development needs?

Whether it is for yourself, your team, or your whole organization, we can help.

By answering a few questions on our Training Needs Analysis form and scheduling an appointment to chat with Doug we can identify the best, most direct, and most effective way to train you and your people.

The conversation usually takes about a half hour. After that you can decide your next steps. I'll be happy to make recommendations (and they don't always mean training with us -- if your needs call for using another source, vendor, or method I will be straight forward with that type of recommendation.)

To schedule a needs analysis phone call, start here.

-- doug smith

I help people develop leadership with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion. To talk about your leadership development needs, contact me here.


Video: How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work

Entrepreneur Magazine frequently offers useful time management tips. Here are 10 that are helpful. Don't worry too much about the revolutionary declaration that most time management advice is useless -- that would make THIS advice useless, too. It's not. It all depends on how you apply it, particularly with the discipline that you apply it.

All time management tips depend on people DOING them with the discipline to say NO to distractions and low-payoff items. Focus first (and most) on the HIGH PAYOFF items and you are likely to be happy with the results.



Here are the tips for additional review and application:


Carry a schedule and track all of your activities, conversations, actions, and even thoughts  - for a week. Identify your productive vs. non-productive times.Assign time for your important activities. Put it in your schedule!Plan to spend at least 50% of your time in the activities and actions that produce most of your results.Schedule time for interruptions. You know the…

Get Excited About Learning

What's your favorite question? Mine is this: what have you learned today? We are blessed with learning opportunities every day from the workshops that we attend to the books that we read to the audios that we listen to and even the youtube videos we watch. We even learn from our mistakes. Learning is a major part of leadership and the whole game when it comes to developing leadership.

People who get excited about learning stay energized.

Stay energized. Keep learning.

-- doug smith

Take the Feedback

Feedback can be hard to take but far worse to ignore.

Take the feedback. What you do with it is your business, but take it. Hear it. Stay curious. Move ahead.

-- doug smith


Four Powerful Words

Four words that cut thru tons of nonsense: it's up to you.

-- doug smith


Keep Improving

Maybe you've heard someone say this, "I never get the training that I need..." or "There isn't enough time to learn what I need to learn..."

Hearing it is rough enough, but living it is too limiting. We're all challenged. We're all taxed. We're all over-whelmed. Still, the need to keep learning never goes away and the more we ignore it the more we become overwhelmed.

You don't ever have to wait for someone else to improve for you to improve. It's up to you.

Keep learning.

-- doug smith

Leadership Call to Action: Check your action plan for a goal that requires a skill that you're still learning. Do something to help increase your learning at that skill today.