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Showing posts from October, 2018

Goals Are There For You

The trouble with assigned goals is that it's within our nature to avoid them. That's true even if YOU are the one assigning the goal. The first question for any goal is: what is your motivation to achieve it? What will you get out of it? How will it make you feel? If those answers come hard to you, it might not be a goal for you. Question any goal that doesn't promise to make your life better. -- doug smith I help people develop leadership with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion. To explore how we might work together, start the conversation in the comments below or contact me:

Embrace the Problem

You didn't ask for the problem, and yet it's here. You could ignore the problem, and yet it's still here. What if that problem is here for you to grow? What if you can make more of yourself by helping someone else? A problem is a platform for your advancement. Ready, set, go. -- doug smith I help people develop leadership with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion. To start a conversation on how we might work together, contact me here:

Are You Waiting for Permission?

Permission is a tricky thing. It can be important in an organization. Leadership has its needs, and one of those needs is order. Too much recklessness -- by the leader or the team, can lead to a chaos that spins out of control. Get permission when you need it. Breaking rules will almost always catch up to you, and the price is always higher than expected. But -- and this is an important condition to consider -- don't wait for permission when you don't need it. If you have been empowered to take action, take action! If you have discussed your strategic move with those affected and reached consensus, take action! I've gone so far as to wait silently for permission, as if my boss could read my mind and anticipate the situation. How silly. Instead I've learned to take action. Waiting for permission, when it is neither needed or implied, is wasting time. Let go of the fear and move. Cautiously, perhaps -- but move! Don't let "waiting for permission"

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 .

Start With Yourself

Do you know a difficult person? Of course you do. We all do. Some people just make life harder than it needs to be. It's that person who misses the deadline, every time. It's the person who won't return your messages. It's the person who rolls their eyes when you speak in a meeting. You know one or more of them, I'm sure. We can't fix them. Even high performance leaders can't fix difficult people because people are not processes or machines. We make funny noises. We stutter and moan. We grunt at customers when we should be patient and kind. But that's not how it needs to be. We can make a difference. As leaders, we don't need to surrender to a bad day or even a bad moment. We're here to serve. Even difficult behaviors can spark better behavior of our own - habits we develop to better serve each other and so to also serve ourselves. By taking care of ourselves. By taking those deep breaths when we need them. By developing a sense of persp

Take Charge of Your Own Learning

Are you getting all the training that you need? As a leader, are you able to schedule all the training you want, whenever you want it? It's tough to do with budget constraints and time limitations. I can think of dozens of leadership programs I would have LOVED to attend when I was working in corporate life and, while I was truly fortunate to be able to attend many of them, some just feel outside of our time or budget constraints. That's why I'm now offering a flexible alternative. Lean, focused teleclasses that you can schedule, just like an appointment. I call them Teleclass appointments. Schedule one, or schedule the whole bunch. Each one is fairly priced and sharply focused. In thirty minutes you will learn a key skill or explore a high impact tool which you can than apply. The very affordable price ($30 for most of them) is payable when you make the appointment. Book it just for yourself or invite a friend to share your line at the same connection and it'

Your Team Needs You

Successful leaders find ways to develop the talent on their team so that the tasks of leadership (mainly, management tasks to handle the day-to-day operation) can be shared with other team members. Until you can delegate you are stuck doing the same old tasks. Sharing the work frees up the team leader while also developing the team members. It's the right approach. Still, your team does need you. Even developing your team to the point where nearly every major task is handled by the team (even scheduling, delegating, assessing, interviewing...) the team leader provides a sense of direction not obtainable any other way. The team leader sets the tempo AND the temperature of the team. The team leader sparks the pulse, ignites the flame, defines the lines. Just because your team can function without you doesn't mean that your team can function without you. Stay in the game. Stay in the team. You are in charge. -- doug smith Leadership Call to Action:  Success team

Find The Flaw In Your Thinking

How does it feel like when your mind is foggy? For me, fogginess happens when there are an overwhelming number of choices, or possibilities, or the problem seems to cut so deep that only a tourniquet will help. Fogginess can also come from incomplete thinking - we stop at a place that makes sense to our unseen bias, and move forward without looking for other facts. Flaws in our thinking develop when our thinking is misdirected (it was true about something else so it must be true about this), polluted (that advertisement is just SO convincing), corrupted (it might not be exactly right but it's good for me), and any of dozens of factors that fog our thoughts. The flaw that blocks you knocks you off center. The flaw that deceives you leaves you without a real solution. Find the flaw in your thinking while you can still find it, or the problem is yours to keep. -- doug smith Level Up It's challenging to think about what we think about. Our minds don't always se

No Need to Blame

What does anyone get out of blaming anyone else? It's easy. It's even reflexive. It just doesn't help. Find the problem, identify the issues, and solve it. There's plenty of responsibility to go around. Work together as a team, and the team will work better together. Team members who give each other the benefit of the doubt do much better when stress intrudes than any team that finds it easy to blame. -- doug smith

Teleclass: How to Communicate More Effectively: Oct. 23 at 12:00pm ET

When: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 at 12:00 Noon ET $30 / 30 Minutes It's on every list of key leadership skills. It's on the minds of every recruiter, manager, executive, and team member: communication. How to Communicate More Effectively is 30 fast moving minutes for you to explore key levers that will immediately improve your communicate skills. We'll explore and practice five key communication skills that, once practiced, will give you: Deeper conversations More productive meetings More powerful presentations Better relationships Join with me in exploring the CLUES to Success model for developing and sharing more communication effectiveness. You'll get a downloadable learner's guide plus 30 minutes of instantly usable skill building. Preview and download the Learner's Guide here. (This event has already occurred. Please watch for additional available times, or schedule your own teleclass appointment here .)

Give Your Team Your Best

Supervisors can't insist on everything. Your people have lives. Your people have limitations. You do want to get the most out of your team. You do that by making reasonable demands and framing somewhat ambitious yet achievable expectations. Push your people, don't break them. Inspire them without tiring them out. Building your team is a process. Some of it is in the group dynamics, and some of it is person by person. Give it your best, and see what you get from the rest. No one has to give their team everything as long as everyone give the team their best. -- doug smith

Teleclass: How to Achieve Your Goals, on Oct. 11 at 11:00am ET

Thursday, October 11 11:00 am ET to 11:30 30/30 Thirty Minutes, Thirty Dollars 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. You can preview, and download, the Learners Guide here . To book this teleclass, contact:

Teleclass: Ten Keys to Leadership Success

Upcoming teleclass: Wednesday, October 10 at 11:00am ET Only $30 SOLD OUT! 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. Next session: Wednesday, October 10 at 11:00 am ET Only $30 SOLD OUT! Download the Leaders Guide here

Paint Your Masterpiece

Have you painted your masterpiece yet? Have you utilized your gifts to their fullest and produced something that will last? High performance leaders consider their legacy as they work and build toward a future where that work is remembered. I am thrilled by how much we as leaders can integrate our various skills into the work of leading. It's all connected. Find ways to connect what you love with what you do and you will always love what you do. As a trainer and consultant, I am constantly finding new ways to blend my enthusiasm for the arts into my work. Maybe it's a song, maybe it's a collage, maybe it's a bit of acting in a story that I tell -- it's all part of the tapestry of the work. I may not have painted my masterpiece yet, but I am practicing every single day. How about you? -- doug smith Corner Office - collage by doug smith

Workshops of The Week

I enjoyed working with two great groups this week - one in Freehold, NJ and the other in Baltimore, MD.

Keep Your List of Goals Brief

You may not know what your limit on goals is, but the ones you can't remember won't get done. Keep your list of goals brief. -- doug smith Leadership Call to Action: Read thru your list of goals. Prioritize your top three. Focus on those today.

What If There's a Flaw In Your Thinking?

It's humbling and it's happened to me, so I would not be surprised if it has happened to you. To be so sure, so certain, so already decided about something -- completely convinced -- only to discover that there was a flaw in the logic, there were facts not in evidence, there were perspectives unseen. There have been times when realizing that I was wrong about something rocked me more than the original problem. To find out that it couldn't be solved in the way that I was sure would work was shocking. What I learned was, do not be that certain. Yes, there are times when you know that you are right and you ARE - but they feel just like the times when you know that you are right and you are not. It's like coming out of a dream that goes in a direction that did not even seem possible. Our brains are human. Our minds are fallible. It's hard to evaluate the instrument at work with the instrument at work. It's so convincing in it's built-in bias. We need to s

Could There Be More to the Truth?

My goal is to tell the truth. All of the time. That's more difficult than you might expect, given our daily temptations to tell little lies of convenience -- especially when we consider that NOT telling something a truth they are entitled to hear is a kind of lie of omission. No one is perfect, but with a little work and a clear intention, we certainly CAN tell the truth. It's a habit worth developing. Once you get into that habit, of telling the truth all of the time, you may find yourself insisting on hearing only the truth from others. That's even more difficult. Some people lie so much that they don't even realize it. Some people lie so much that they come to believe their own lies. What do you do with that? All we can do is to start by telling the truth. All the truth we know. We may later learn that we didn't even know all of the truth, or that someone else's view of a situation is different from ours (and just as true.) Still, let's start with

Details Matter

Attention to detail thwarts a thousand problems. -- doug smith

Keep Looking

Should we stop looking, once we've found what we're looking for? Or, should we savor having that precious moment while also remembering to look onward. Keep looking. Keep building. Keep growing. Find the dream you're looking for and then keep looking. -- doug smith