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Showing posts from January, 2020

Build Yourself

How far can your team go? How much work can your team do? How successful can your team become?

I have two answers to all of those questions. The first answer is "amazingly so." The second answer is harder, "only as far as you allow."

Your team's biggest limiting factor is you. That's hard to hear, perhaps, but also liberating. Grow yourself and you will grow your team. Limit yourself and...well, you get the idea.

In order to build your team you might also need to build yourself.
Build your ability to listen. Build your ability to take charge. Build your ability to solve problems. Build your ability to lead.

Build yourself. Your team will follow.

-- doug smith


Two Word Mission Statements

What is your two-word mission statement?

I'm sure you've seen a lot of mission statements. I have, too. Most of them are so long that I couldn't remember them if my job depended on it. And yet, in many ways, your job does depend on it.

I've learned that if you keep it brief, it's easier to remember which makes it easier to do and much more likely to shine as the strategic guiding light that you're looking for.

Try this. First, identify what you do. Second, identify how you do it. Put those two things together. If you don't like what develops, try again. Find yourself a two-word mission statement and see how empowering it makes you feel. If you like it, keep it. If you don't, try again.

What is your two-word mission statement?

Mine is "developing leadership."

It's an abbreviated version of the full mission statement of "developing leadership with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion." I like both. I can remember both. But…

Always Add Compassion

Tough leaders with an edge get stuff done, and when they add compassion they add significance.

Always add compassion.

-- doug smith


What Is Your Team Teaching You?

What have you learned from your team today?

It's not too late, and your team has a lot to teach you. Sure, your job as a leader includes training your team members and making sure that they develop in ways that help them while also achieving your team goals. What many leaders forget, though, is that your team is also constantly teaching you.

They are teaching you what they need to succeed. They are teaching you how their interpersonal dynamics are developing. They are teaching you how effective your leadership style is. It may not always seem like it, but they have things to tell you that may not be said directly with words.

How is their performance? Are they happy? Do they feel connected to something larger than themselves? Are they proud to be part of the team? Do they feel valued and appreciated?

Watch their body language. Listen to their tone. Get clarity around what their words say. Stay attentive to what they have to teach.

Every team teaches its leader whether or not they&…

Manage Your Boss

How much time do you spend managing your own boss?

Front line leaders can spend so much time leading their own people that it's easy to forget how important it is to develop your relationship with your own boss. You do need your boss's support for any plans, discipline, or development you have for your people. You do need your boss's cooperation when your team members go over your head about an issue and go directly to your boss. And, you'd like your boss's help in developing your career.

But your boss is busy. Your boss has personal tasks to take care of. Your boss has a challenging boss to keep happy. It's easy for you and your boss to drift apart as you both work hard to accomplish your goals. But still you've got to find a way.

The toughest task for any boss is managing their own boss.
Although it may be tough, your future could depend on it. Without your boss's help, everything is harder. With it, almost anything is possible.

Here are some quick w…

High Performance Leaders Manage Their Egos

Does your ego ever get in the way?

Leaders do need healthy egos. We must demonstrate belief, confidence, and assurance. All of that requires healthy self-esteem that allows us to stand up to resistance and push thru difficulty. It's possible, though, for that self-esteem to turn into self-aggrandizement if we're not careful.

How can we manage our egos? The best way I know is by developing the kinds of strong, open, honest relationships with people that allow others to provide feedback. Have a friend who is willing to tell you when your ego is bloated or your assumptions are presumptuous. Develop the resilience and resolve to realize that, gasp! you are not always right. Especially when we begin operating fast and relentlessly the safety valve of honest people keeps us out of trouble.

Also, everyone we deal with has an ego. Our team members, our customers, our bosses. Egos are everywhere and whether they are confident or hesitant we deal with them in the middle of working on o…

Tradition and Change

Are you keeping up with change? I find myself sobbing just a little every time my mobile phone wants to install an update. How do I know it'll be better? Can't I just wait a little while? What if I like things the way that they are?

High performance leaders are in the business of change. We rock the boat for a living. As Tom Peters once said "if it ain't broke, break it." That quote is more than twenty years old and we've been rocking the boat constantly since then.

What about the people who fall off of the boat? What about the details that are tried and true and tradition? Is there a place for tradition in today's rapidly changing world?

Yes, there is. Tradition is more than the way things used-to-be. Tradition is more than old habits. Tradition is a topic worthy of a book, but for now here are a few things tradition means.

Tradition is honoring the past and the people who built that past. That past got us to here, so they must have done something right…