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's still the same price.

Thirty minutes. Thirty dollars.

Take charge of your own learning. Book a teleclass.

-- doug smith

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 leaders do these two things simultaneously: develop team members AND provide direction. Today, do something that will develop the skills of at least one team member (for example, you might delegate a task that is a bit of a stretch for them) AND at your next team meeting make it a point to speak with every member of your team and using that contact time to reinforce your vision for the team's success for the months ahead.
Building your team - doug smith training

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 see the shortcuts they take on the way to a conclusion. What if that conclusion is incorrect. Let's level up on jumping to conclusions. Build a bridge to a better conclusion. Take the time to breathe, construct a solid level of reasoning, and think. Pause. That perfectly good thought you are having is capable of finding yet another perfectly good (and perhaps better) idea. Keep thinking.

Leadership Call to Action:

Today, before disagreeing with someone or an idea, take a moment to breathe and examine the possibilities. What if your thinking is in some small way flawed on this? Where could the flaw be? Who would have more information on this?

Examine your truth, to see if it's true.

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 at 12:00 Noon ET
$30 / 30 Minutes

Teleclass: How to Communicate More Effectively

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.

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: doug@dougsmithtraining.com

Teleclass: Ten Keys to Leadership Success

Upcoming teleclass:
Wednesday, October 10 at 11:00am ET
Only $30

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

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
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.

Tosin, Sienna, D'Nia, Dan, and Natalie in Baltimore

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 step back, get a fuller perspective, talk to someone else, and breathe. Let go of the outcome just long enough to see what the possibilities still are.

Find the flaw in your thinking while you can still find it, or the problem is yours to keep.

-- doug smith

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 telling the truth as we know it. Or, as don Miguel Ruiz says in "The Four Agreements," tell your truth.

Tell the truth. Tell me the truth. Just don't pretend you know all of it. There is still plenty of truth to discover, and what was once true might change.

How do you define truth?

-- 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