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Showing posts from November, 2018

Video: Lightning Fast Problem Solving

This video uses a similar process to one that I share in my workshops. The video is around 12 minutes long but can save you hours of toil and trouble in your future problem solving sessions. I like that they call it a jam. As a musician, I can relate to the collaborative tools used, even though much of it is in silence (which, incidentally, gives your quiet and reflective team members equal footing.)




Each of the steps is described in writing, and there's another link to the video here.

You'll need lots of sticky notes, whiteboard space, dots (two sizes) and markers. Always have extra markers whenever you use dry-erase markers because you don't want to run dry.

I recommend reaching agreements at the beginning on moving forward without taking anything personally, respecting each other, and following directions from the facilitator because this is a rapid process and any hurt feelings or excited debate will just slow you down.

 There's a great use of one of my favorite to…

Four Powerful Words

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

-- doug smith


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…

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.

(Unfortunately, the video has been removed from youtube. However, I did summarize the tips so I'll leave this post.)



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:

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


Centered Is Not THE Center

Making yourself the center of the universe is bad for you, and the universe doesn't care.

It's bad for you because, ahem, you're not. I'm not. We don't even know WHERE the center of the universe is. I'm fairly sure it's not my town, my country, or even this world. That's that and that's that.

The universe might have a sense of humor, but that's stretching a metaphor and anthropomorphism to the max. Stretch, yes -- but be careful of those metaphors. They have quite a recoil.

-- 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


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

Patience Takes Patience

If your boss is rough on you, that could affect how rough you are on your own people, but it should not. Leaders don't get to hand down the trouble. Abuse shared is multiplied, not diminished.

Having someone lose patience with you is no reason to lose patience with them. Centered leaders focus, breathe, and maintain. It's what you'd want, and therefore what to deliver.

-- doug smith


Lead for More Than Money

Money is important. High performance leaders must pay attention to money and how it effects their team. When you can, make sure that your team is positively impacting the larger organization's bottom line. That keeps you in the game.

And -- there's more. Much more. What is it about your team's work is transformational? How much are you improving the lives of others? Is your team helping to create a better world?

We can care about money and still be noble. We can focus on important areas such as service, helpfulness, safety, truth, happiness, heath, quality -- whatever it is that is there for your team to prosper, drive, and deliver on.

The bottom line is not the only line worth measuring. It's not even the most important.

Define your most important bottom line, and make money subordinate to that.

-- doug smith